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Friday, 21 October 1949


Mrs BLACKBURN (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - Is the Minister aware that, owing to an increase of the price of raw flax since the unpegging of prices, the production of canvas and firehose in Australia has been adversely affected? Is he aware that contracts for these products are being placed overseas because of the price, and that 80 per cent, of the flax used in the overseas products is claimed by our manufacturers to originate in Belgium, a hard currency country, before being spun and woven in the United Kingdom? Is the Minister aware that the New South Wales Government Railways and the South Australian Railways have placed large orders in the United Kingdom that will involve the use of approximately £100,000 worth of dollars in Belgian raw material? Will the Minister have this matter examined without delay so that protection may be given to the industry, particularly as about 200 employees of two firms - and perhaps others - will face dismissal in the next few weeks if the industry remains in its present unsatisfactory position? Many of those employees are constituents of mine.







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