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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 3578

Mr LLOYD (MURRAY, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that the Telefunken Co., patent holder of the phase alternating line - PAL - colour television system, will not allow colour television components or sets to be imported into this country for 2 years after the introduction of colour television in Australia? If this is so, will the Prime Minister explain how the Australian consumer will actually benefit from his promise of lower priced colour television sets if the local manufacturers cannot be kept honest by actual or threatened import competition from overseas sets?

Mr WHITLAM - There have been stories. At the present time there may be a basis for the story that restrictive arrangements have been imposed by A.G. Telefunken on the phase alternating line system. The Cabinet decided on Monday that consultation should take place on that question. We are optimistic that those restrictive practices will be abandoned and that Australia will therefore be able to get prompt and cheap advantage from this system which has been pioneered by Telefunken. I should add that it will obviously be open to and obligatory on the Prices Justification Tribunal to examine the mark-ups which are imposed on any electronic goods, such as colour television sets, by companies whose operations exceed $20m a year. The principal electronic companies in Australia are covered by the Prices Justification Tribunal.

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