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Tuesday, 20 September 1960

Mr Ward d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been drawn to a declaration by Mr. William Gunn, chairman of the Australian Wool Bureau, upon his return earlier this year from a meeting of the International Wool Publicity and Research Fund, that the Australian Wool Bureau will attempt to sell more wool to Communist China?

2.   Does the Government approve of the Wool Bureau's plan?

3.   If so, does this mean that a change is proposed in the Government's policy towards Communist China?

4.   If the Government, either directly or otherwise, intends to develop Australia's trade with China, will he state why it is that the Government maintains the policy of non-recognition of the Government of that country?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1 to 3. I understand that Mr. Gunn said, In a statement on 23rd June, that the Australian Wool Bureau would make a survey on behalf of the International Wool Secretariat to discover the wool market potential of Asian countries, including Communist China. Efforts by the Wool Bureau to increase sales of wool to any destination are welcomed. There is not, nor has there ever been, any restriction on the sale of wool to Communist China.

4.   The Government's policy on the recognition of the Communist regime in China was stated by the Minister for External Affairs in the House on 13th August, 1959, and by myself in the House on 8th September, 1960.

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