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Tuesday, 23 November 1971
Page: 3457

Mr CORBETT (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - I address my question to the Prime Minister. Is he aware that prominent mining executives, bankers, industrialists as well as leaders of rural industry now advocate a devaluation of the

Australian dollar? Have the advantages of devaluation and its assistance to export industry now in urgent need of this assistance been fully considered by the Government in relation to the present economic policy of the United States of America?

Mr Cope - 1 rise on a point of order. Mr Speaker, you have ruled that these are matters of policy which should not be answered by the responsible Ministers.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Chair has never ruled that they are matters of policy because (he Chair is not in a position to realise that they are matters of policy. That is a matter for the individual Minister himself to announce to the House.

Mr McMAHON - 1 think the House will remember that some time ago 1 made a general statement relating to our policy in connection with the changes in international parities of exchange. In this statement, which was made before I left for overseas, I said that the main decisions in this problem of the realignment of parities and the withdrawal of the American surcharge on imports and similar matters' would first of all have to be resolved within the group of 10 before we, as a Government, would be able to make a final decision.

That still is the position today. In fact, it would be foolhardy for us to try to make up our minds not knowing where the exchange rates in other countries might go. I should add in relation to this problem that this is one of the matters that 1 will be speaking about in my statement to the House tonight. I think that the honourable gentleman will have to wait until then to get the balance of the answer.

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