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Thursday, 13 May 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Defence) - I think it is important to understand, in any consideration of the restrictions on imports of Australian meat, that the legislation which is causing trouble or could possibly cause trouble, is not the result of any Act of the American Congress. It is the result of actions taken by various State legislatures under laws which have no application at all to the power over imports which is controlled by Congress. The States referred to are taking action under their own legislation which deals with the marketing of meat.

Senator Hendrickson - It deals with our meat, too.

Senator PALTRIDGE - It does deal with our meat. 1 merely make the point that it should not be confused with an Act of the American Congress. The other question which the honorable senator addresses to me refers in very, very broad terms to our financial and trading relations with the United States of America. It has particular reference to the Trade Expansion Act and to the Act which last year imposed a limitation or a higher rate of interest on overseas lending, and to the more recent action of the United States Government in respect of the financing outside America by American companies of certain undertakings. As the honorable senator knows, this led to a visit to the United States by our Treasurer a week or two ago. 1 noticed in the Press this morning - 1 was not aware of this until then - that the Treasurer proposes to make a statement today on his visit and I suggest that any discussion of this broad question could best be left until after Mr. Holt has made the statement.

Senator Willesee - Will the Minister table the statement in the Senate?

Senator PALTRIDGE - I do not know. As I said, it was a Press report. 1 assure the honorable senator that if the statement comes in the normal way and if it is proper that it should be tabled 1 shall take no action to prevent this from being done.

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