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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 197

Mr CORBETT (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - My question which is directed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs is supplementary to that asked by the honourable member for Dawson. In view of the answer given by the Minister to the honourable member for Dawson, can the Government take any further action which would help to prevent the sale of sugar to the People's Republic of China being made a political issue by the Australian Labor Party and thus jeopardising the continuing trade in this commodity as happened in the case of wheat?

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Government does not initiate activity in relation to sugar. This is done by private enterprise or, in the case of wheat, by the Australian Wheat Board dealing with its opposite number in China. It does not become a political exercise until the honourable member for Dawson or someone from the Labor Opposition raises it in this House to get a headline and to make it a political matter. As long as it is not a political matter there could be possibilities of further trade if the requirements are there. If the requirement for trade is not there, there will not be trade. If the requirement for trade is there, there will be trade, provided the honourable member for Dawson does not sabotage it by his kind of comment.

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