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Wednesday, 21 September 1949

Mr CHIFLEY - The answer to the honorable member's question is in the affirmative. Naturally, as the result of the devaluation of Australian currency ia relation: to- dollars we shall be obliged to pay higher prices for imports of com plete dollar content. The question of increasing the production of tobacco and cotton has been discussed with the Queensland authorities, and the Minister for Trade and Customs has requested theTariff Board to inquire into certain aspects of those industries. In addition, as the honorable member knows, certain, assistance has been given to those industries directly. "With respect to timber we are hopeful that it will be possible to increase imports from soft currency countries. I realize, of course, that certain timbers, such as Oregon which is imported from Canada, are highly valued for building purposes but, in general, I assure the honorable member that the problems he has mentioned were under consideration by the Government even before the de. valuation question arose. Considerable assistance has been given to the Chamberlain tractor manufacturing organization, in Western Australia, and to the International Harvester Company which is engaged in similar work in Victoria. Similar help and advice will be given wherever possible.

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