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Friday, 8 May 1970

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member for Sydney will cease interjecting.

Mr Cope - This is the first time I have spoken.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I remind the honourable member that when I speak to him I do not want to be answered back on every occasion.

Mr McEWEN - There are 104 Australian trade commissioners stationed in overseas countries. That number includes 1 trade commissioner who is on loan under the Colombo Plan to the Government of Malaysia. I cannot say how many trade commissioners have been appointed in the past 12 months, but since the beginning of last year 23 have been appointed. That would not be a net addition to the number because some have retired or been brought back into the Department in Australia during that time. In all the evidence that comes to me in the constant stream of letters from Australian firms and other interests throughout the world there is not the slightest doubt that the Australian Trade Commissioner Service is performing a very useful function in facilitating and increasing Australia's trade and is very greatly respected.

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