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Tuesday, 17 May 1960

Mr Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) n asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Did he receive from the Soviet Government a communication dated 15th January, 1960, forwarding certain proposals relating to disarmament?

2.   What was the nature of the Government's reply to these proposals?

3.   Will the Parliament be given an opportunity to discuss the proposals and the Government's reply?

Mr McEwen - The following are the answers to the honorable member's questions: -

1.   Yes. 2 and 3. The communication has been dealt with in accordance with the expressed wishes of the Embassy of the U.S.S.R. and the Ambassador has been informed.

Imports from South Africa.

Mr Cairns (YARRA, VICTORIA) s asked the Minister representing the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice -

1.   Have any inquiries been made to discover if any goods produced wholly or in part by prison labour have been imported from South Africa contrary to Statutory Rules 1956, No. 90, made under the Customs Act 1901-1954?

2.   If inquiries have been made, when were they made, and what goods were the subject of the inquiries?

3.   If inquiries have not been made, will the Minister arrange for them to be undertaken?

Mr Osborne - The Minister for Customs and Excise has furnished the following answers to the honorable member's questions: - 1 and 2. No inquiries have been made.

3.   No. In view of the nature of the goods imported from South Africa and the absence of any specific information that goods produced by prison labour are being imported, a general inquiry is not considered warranted.

Mr Cairns s asked the Minister for Trade, upon notice -

1.   What was the value of Australia's imports from South Africa in the main categories or types during the past year?

2.   What are the names, brands or other identifying marks of the goods now being imported to Australia from South Africa?

Mr McEwen - The following are the answers to the honorable member's questions: -

1.   Imports into Australia from South Africa during 1958-59, were as follows: -

2.   The information is not available.

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