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Friday, 16 October 1970

Mr McEWEN - The Government does aid in maintaining a constant trade publicity campaign in the United Kingdom and, from the United Kingdom, largely in Europe. I do not recall immediately the amount that is set aside 'in this year's Budget to support this campaign, but it will be found to be of the order of some hundreds of thousands of dollars. The campaign is conducted by a committee known as the Overseas Trade Publicity Commitee. The funds provided by the Government, which, as I say, will amount this year to some hundreds of thousands of dollars, are supplemented by very substantial sums provided by the statutory marketing boards such as the canned fruit and dairy boards, and further supplemented by funds provided by either private commerce or expenditure by private commerce tailored to fit into the total publicity campaign. On the whole, this is an immense and very effective campaign. It is directed to drawing attention to the existence of goods and Australian food products and to the value of the food products. By and large it has been very successful.

I would think it improper for the Government to appear to be trying to influence a political decision in the United Kingdom by canvassing the fact that if Britain should join the Common Market food products there would be dearer. There is not the slightest doubt about this. They would be dramatically dearer. But that is a matter of controversy in the political field in the United Kingdom and it is not a matter in which we have sought or ever would seek to intervene and participate. We express our views, as I am expressing my own now, in this place.

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