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Tuesday, 15 April 1969


Senator KEEFFE (Queensland) - In the few minutes that I have in which to participate in this debate, I want to remind Senator Webster that tomorrow morning he will get under the shower and clutch a cake of soap in his hand, and it will be soap manufactured by ColgatePalmolive Pty Ltd, which is 100% overseas owned. Then he will proceed to shave and will use a stick of shaving soap made by Yardley of London Pty Ltd, another company that is 100% overseas owned. While he is waiting for his breakfast to be served, he will pick up a copy of the 'Reader's Digest' and thumb through it. He will discover that the 'Reader's Digest' company again is 1.00% overseas owned. Then he will sit at his little table, reflecting on the dividends that he will receive next week, and he will have his cereal. Undoubtedly, it will be Kellogg's cornflakes, which are made by a company that is 100% overseas owned.

A little later he will call for his piece of steak. No doubt it will have been killed by the Riverstone Meat Company Pty Ltd. lt is interesting to note that almost 100% of the Australian beef killing industry is overseas owned and overseas controlled. Then he will have a piece of toast. The toast will have been made by George Weston Foods Pty Ltd, which is 100% controlled by an overseas firm and incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory under Loves Bakeries Pty Ltd, owned 100% by George Weston Foods Pty Ltd. No doubt, Senator Webster will have a biscuit and a piece of cheese following his toast. The biscuit will have been made by Nabisco Pty Ltd, that great take-over firm that really made inroads into the Australian biscuit manufacturing industry and which is owned 100% by overseas capital. He will spread his biscuit with a little cheese made by Kraft Foods Pty Ltd, which also is owned 100% by overseas capital. Then, for tea no doubt Senator Webster will have a cup of that very nice brew made by Robur Tea Co. Ltd, 82% of which is owned by overseas capital. Having considered Senator Webster at breakfast, it makes one weep to know that all the profits from the food he has eaten will go out of this country.


Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - What will Senator Webster have after breakfast?


Senator KEEFFE - In the time that is available to me, I could not go through that in detail. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy), who moved for the appointment of this Senate select committee, led for the Opposition. I was almost reduced to tears when, in his reply, the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Anderson) came to the last paragraph of the motion which reads:

The Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to move from place to place, to sit during recess, and to have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such recommendations as it may deem fit. 1 was really disturbed by the pathetic outlook that he took on the whole of this matter. Quite frankly, Government senators are quite afraid of what might be turned up by the proposed Senate select commit tee. We have seen several Senate select committees operating in past months. All of them have done a pretty effective job. Government members say they are not afraid of what this Committee might turn up, 'but perhaps they are afraid of some of their shareholdings being disclosed. I can confidently say lo Government senators that if they elect to give evidence before a committee of this nature their evidence would be heard in camera so that their shareholdings were not exposed outside the Committee.

Senator Websterwent to a lot of trouble in waving his book around. He did not bother to tell us anything that was in it. I know that some members of the Government, when the book was first published, endeavoured to have it banned by the Board that deals with obscene literature. In fact, the Department of Trade and Industry, in the statistics provided in this publication, showed precisely what was the overseas ownership of Australian manufacturing industry in 1966.

I have not a great deal of time, Mr President. 1 propose to quote only a few examples from each of the sections of this publication. In the section dealing with Iron and Steel, Metal Shapes, Scrap' we find reference to Armco (Australia) Pty Ltd which manufacturers prefabricated steel. It is owned 100% by an American company. Atlas Steels (Australia) Pty Ltd is 100% owned by an overseas company. John Lysaght (Australia) Ltd is 80% owned by a British company. So this publication goes on in the various sections. I turn to the heavy engineering industries. A considerable amount of overseas capital is invested in these industries. We find that Edgar Allen & Co. (Australia) Pty Ltd is owned 100% by a British company. We find that Babcock & Wilcox of Australia Pty Limited, which used to be a well known Australian firm-


Senator Prowse - Is not the publication from which the honourable senator is reading a directory of overseas investment?


Senator KEEFFE - If the honourable senator would like me to give him the title of it, I inform him that it is the publication that was put out by the Department of Trade and Industry.


Senator Prowse - It is a directory of overseas investment. The honourable senator would not expect to find Australian companies listed in a directory of overseas investment, would he?


Senator KEEFFE - Thai is not the point. 1 have heard Senator Prowse make some stupid statements in the Senate, but that takes the cake - and not Nabisco ones either. It is typical of the altitude of the Government and the mentality of the Country Party.

Debate interrupted.







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