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Tuesday, 17 November 1959

Mr McEWEN - Yes, recently the United States administration agreed to make available to India about 112,000,000 bushels of wheat during the current financial year. It has been announced that this quantity will be made available under what is known as Public Law 480. Payment is to be made by the Indian Government in rupees - not in dollars - and a good deal of the money paid will be re-lent to the Indian Government for developmental and other purposes in order to strengthen the Indian economy and help India's balance of payments problems. But within this arrangement the United States Administration has, in accordance with the Eisenhower Food for Peace Conference, recently stipulated that 15,000,000 bushels or 400,000 tons of wheat is to be bought commercially by India during the period. I am sure that is accepted all round as a very fair reservation. Australia will enjoy a substantial share of that market. Whereas last vear Australia sold to India only about 1,500,000 bushels of wheat, the Australian Wheat Board has already sold about 4,000.000 bushels this year and I am sure that we will have our full competitive share of the 15,000,000 bushels that is to be bought by India.

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