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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr McEWEN - I think I have made a statement in the House on this matter.

Dr J F Cairns (YARRA, VICTORIA) - The statement was not specific about that.

Mr McEWEN - I thought it was, but I shall be specific now. Although it may appear from the question to be so, I did not just happen to meet the Premier of Queensland while I was overseas. By arrangement with him and his Government, the sugar industry and this Government, I led the delegation and the Premier of Queensland was my deputy leader. We acted at all times in conjunction as leader and deputy leader at a conference in which the representatives of about 80 countries were present. About half of these countries were represented as exporters, as Australian was, and about half were represented as importers. It is now a matter of history that no success attached to that conference - none at all - except that we talked and agreed to meet again. I have said something in the House about the circumstances that give me some reason to expect that the next time the whole conference is reconvened it may come to a satisfactory conclusion, stabilising the world price of sugar, strengthening the Australian economy and, very importantly, strengthening the economies of all those less developed countries for which sugar exports are such a tremendous factor in their prospect of growth.

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