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Thursday, 8 September 1949

Mr CHIFLEY - The Leader of the Australian Country party raised this matter on a previous occasion when he inquired whether sufficient dollars were made available for the purchase, of spare parts for tractors manufactured in the United States of America. I indicated to the right honorable gentleman on that occasion that the Government considered that it should make every endeavour to ensure that sufficient dollars were always available for the purchase of spare parts for American tractors in use in this country. That has been and is being done. The mere fact that, sometimes, a primary producer cannot obtain a spare part is hardly ever due to lack of dollars. The reason usually is that such spare parts have not been available. I heard not long ago that a person in Cleveland, United States of America, was able to buy a spare part for a tractor of somewhat ancient vintage, and send it to the owner of the machine in Australia. The local agents for that tractor had not been able to supply the required spare part. On a previous occasion, I pointed out that the allocation of dollars for the purchase of spare parts for tractors was not completely used in one particular quarter of the year. However, as the honorable member for Wimmera has raised this important matter again, I shall examine the position in order to ascertain whether any applications for dollars for the purchase of spare parts of American tractors have been declined. I shall also confer with the Minister for Trade and Customs and the Cabinet sub-committee which deals with the dollar situation and ascertain the exact position, so that I may give to the honorable member completely correct information.

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