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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Mr McEWEN - The conclusion which the honorable gentleman seeks to draw in his question is utter nonsense. To suggest that Japanese purchasing of copper concentrates in Australia in completely open competition, not only with other countries but also with Australian potential users of copper, turns out to be preferential treatment of the Japanese, is nonsensical. It is as nonsensical as it would be to suggest that a decision by a person employed for wages in one part of the country to stay there, instead of going to work for a copper refinery elsewhere for a lower rate of wages, would represent preferential treatment directed against the refinery. Copper concentrates are sold on the open market, and the Australian user is as free to buy them as is any one else, as is the case in respect of wool, lead, and all other similar products of Australia which we have surplus to our own requirements.

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