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Tuesday, 27 April 1971

Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - It is quite an exaggeration to make a comment that overnight Qantas Airways Ltd has become almost bankrupt. This is very far indeed from being the case. Qantas will report a profit for the financial year ended 31st March this year. It is taking proper steps, in the exercise of managing the business for the Australian people, to make quite sure that with heavy increases in costs and the declining growth in the number of travellers which has characterised the affairs of international airlines, it does not have adverse results in the coming year. Beyond that, in the present circumstances, I would like to reserve my right to have something further to say about this later if it becomes more necessary so to do. If I may say so, that may be the wiser course. There are people on the other side with experience in industrial problems. I submit it to their judgment that it may be better for me at the present stage to do exactly as I propose.

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