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Wednesday, 14 October 1970

Mr WHITLAM - I ask the Minister for Shipping and Transport a question. The Minister will recall assuring the House in April last year that by participating in the joint management of the container ships of the Associated Container Transportation Ltd valuable insight will be gained into the operation of those ships and of the conferences involved. I ask: Was it in the light of insights so gained that he encouraged Australian exporters at Griffith on 25 th June and in Darwin on 30th July to believe that increases in north-bound freights were unwarranted and would be resisted by the Government? Is it in the light of subsequent insights that he has since reversed his position? Do his current insights enable him to assure the House that the recently announced freight increases of 4 per cent for wool and 10 per cent for general and refrigerated cargo other than apples and pears are in fact justified?

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