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Wednesday, 1 June 1960

Mr McEWEN - As the honorable member implied in his question, the circumstances of the plywood industry were referred by me to the Tariff Board some time ago. It is the policy of the Government that the long-term protection of this industry, as well as of other Australian industries, shall be determined as the outcome of recommendations made by the Tariff Board. On the other hand, we have made it clear that in special circumstances we will take special action to protect an Australian industry, pending a finding of the Tariff Board. Indeed, I announced such action 24 hours or so ago in respect of the smaller air-cooled internal combustion engines. We have studied the position of the plywood industry and my advice at the moment is that it is not suffering seriously nor is it at present under threat of serious damage. If it can be established that it is suffering, I assure the honorable member that the policies of the Government will permit us to take action.

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