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Wednesday, 14 September 1949

Mr Francis s asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact, as alleged by a Sydney textile firm that the Australian textile trade is threatened unless the Commonwealth Government stems the flood of questionable imports ?

2.   What types and quantities of textile goods were imported into Australia during the past twelve months from (a) sterling area countries, and (b) dollar area countries?

3.   Will he investigate whether (a) tariff agreements have been contravened, and (b) textile goods could be supplied more cheaply and in better quality if tariff protection were extended ?

Mr Pollard - The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following information: -

1.   No cases of questionable imports of textiles have been brought to my notice. Australian manufacturers have been concerned about the volume of imports over the last year, particularly of knitted underwear, hosiery and knitted piece goods. Because of these representations the following matters havebeen referred to the Tariff Board: -

What rates of duty should be imposed on goods covered by tariff items - 105 (aa) (2), knitted or lockstitched piece goods except when wholly of wool. 1 1 5, socks and stockings for human attire. 110 (b) (1), underwear being knitted apparel or apparel made from knitted or lockstitched piece goods.

2.   Excluding bags, sacks, cordage, twines, yarns, gloves, trimmings and carpets the major textile imports during 1048-49, by value, were as follows: -


Quantity figures are not readily available at present. The Commonwealth Statistician is now preparing final figures for the year and quantities should be available within a week or two. 3. (a) No tariff agreements have been contravened; and (6) this angle will be considered by the Tariff Board during its investigations.

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