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Wednesday, 16 March 1966

Mr McEWEN (MURRAY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade and Industry) - I think it is a fact that certain foreign companies operating in Australia have no Australian capital at all. I am sure that the establishment of a joint Australian-Japanese shipping enterprise, primarily to carry the great bulk cargo which is now being generated by contracts for the sale of coal, iron ore, maybe bauxite, alumina and other minerals to Japan, would be welcomed by the Government. It seems to me a fair thing that the benefits of such a shipping line should be shared between the country which is supplying the cargo and the country which is producing it as cargo by purchasing it.

As to what the percentage of the Australian content in the shipping company ought to be, I would not want to be dogmatic about that point. Personally, I do not mind saying that a 50-50 deal that was sure of avoiding any question of deadlock would be reasonable in the circumstances.

But it is obviously a great advantage for Australia to earn exchange by participating in the very big freight component in the export of this bulk cargo. Indeed, the value of the freight would be equal to a very, very substantial proportion of the value of the material being exported.

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