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Thursday, 15 September 1949

Mr CHIFLEY (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - I propose to answer the honorable member very briefly, because it would take a long time to answer his question fully. Barter arrangements between individuals in Australia and another country would certainly be discouraged at once. They would dislocate the exchange control regulations if they were permitted. Moreover, there could be no certainty that any system of barter between individuals 'could be carried out. Regarding barter between governments of different countries, we have, of course, an arrangement with the 'Supreme Gourmand, Allied Powers in Japan by which we agree to take from Japan goods equal in value to the goods that it takes from us. That arrangement involves no dollar or sterling deficits but it is difficult to control. There are trade agreements between the United Kingdom and European and South American countries under which commodities are exchanged, if possible - and, in each ease, it is only, "if possible" - of an equivalent value. That in unilateral trade, but T think most 'people agree that multilateral trade is preferable. The Minister for External Affairs deal with this aspect last night. The United Kingdom has - had to do that because of the difficult state in which it finds itself. I could probably deal better with the particular instance that thehonorable member has mentioned in a. written reply. I shall endeavour in that reply to cover, also, the other matters that he has raised.

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