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Wednesday, 26 April 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - The study which the Government has so far given this matter suggests that more is involved than simply the restoration of demand for home building to a rather higher level than obtains at the present time. There has clearly been a considerable accumulation of stock, as a result of both higher imports last year and a degree of over-expansion in the industry itself. An additional factor which, I think, had not occurred to most of us whose knowledge of this matter has increased over more recent times, is the influence which the decline in the manufacture of television sets has had. Rather curiously, a reduction in demand - quite unrelated to the general economic situation - for the plywood veneer which has been going into television sets, has had a bearing on the position in the plywood section of the timber industry. The Government's economic review to which I referred earlier will, I know, include an examination of the situation in the timber industry, and what the honorable gentleman and others have put before the Government will be in our minds when we make that review.

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