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Tuesday, 23 September 1958

Mr BURY (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Supply in his capacity as acting Minister for Trade. In view of the importance to Australia of the report that the United Kingdom - the custodian of the gold and dollar reserves of the sterling area - is about to drop discrimination against goods imported from the dollar area, will the Minister obtain and make public the full text of the statement on the subject made in Montreal last week by the president of the United Kingdom Board of Trade? As the purpose of our present discrimination against dollar goods is to protect the currency reserves of the United Kingdom and not those of Australia, can the Minister indicate when action parallel with that taken by the United Kingdom Government is likely to be taken by the Australian Government in order to enable Australian importers to use their import licences to import goods from North

America on the same footing as from other countries, like their counterparts in the United Kingdom? In order that interested parties may gauge the significance of the impending change, will the Minister have prepared and published a brief table showing the approximate proportion of imports into the United Kingdom, in the last two years, of commodities which United Kingdom importers have been able to purchase without discrimination between dollar and other currency source!, together with similar information for Australia?

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