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Tuesday, 6 September 1960

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Trade, upon notice -

1.   What progress has been made in bringing into being what is referred to as the European Common Market?

2.   When is it expected that the progressive moves for its establishment will be completed?

3.   What are the anticipated effects of this development upon Australian trade?

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

1.   The European Common Market is in its third year of operation. Tariffs between members have been reduced in some cases by two-tenths of their 1957 level. Some enlargements of quotas between members have also been made. Plans are being made for the gradual integration of the members' economies in various fields.

2.   By 1973 at the latest. If the present rate of progress is maintained it could be earlier than this.

3.   It is too early to be sure about the effects of the Common Market on Australian trade. Apart from wool, which seems likely to be unaffected, our main trade interest lies in how our exports of agricultural products are going to be affected. The Common Market's future agricultural policy has not yet been worked out. The Government is following developments on the formulation of the agricultural policy and has made its views known through the relevant international organizations and direct to the governments concerned.

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