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Thursday, 18 September 1958
Page: 1371

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - This is a clear illustration of the fact that once a rumour starts it is very difficult to stop it. I have previously made it clear to this House that import licences for 2,700 tons of maize and of maize grits, in total, were approved during December and January. No other licences, in fact, have been issued since then. The answer to the honorable member's question as to large recent importations of maize grits is therefore, quite clearly, " No ". I have heard statements that, during this Australian selling season, that is, since April, 1958, in one case 4,500 tons and in another 1,200 tons of maize grits were imported. Sir, those statements are not correct, and if the person making the allegations will furnish me with precise information, I will let him have a definite reply. I am not referring to the honorable member for Mitchell, but the honorable gentleman will know to whom I refer. I do give the honorable gentleman the assurance that when Australian maize is being sold after the producing season, licences for the importation of maize will not be permitted. I do not think that I can carry out any further investigations, because we have complete control of import licensing. However, I repeat the assurance that when Australian maize is being sold, import licences will not be issued for the importation of foreign maize or maize grits.

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