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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 771

Mr KELLY (WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Has the Prime Minister, in his capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs, received a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which dealt with Australia's economic performance? Does this report make some very critical comments about Australia's policy of tariff protection, as indeed I have been doing for some years, if I may say so with due modesty, -which is a quality that commends itself to both the Prime Minister and to me? Because of the general importance of this report and the particular importance of that portion dealing with tariff protection and the most efficient allocation of our limited resources, will he see that the report gets as wide a circulation as possible, particularly to members on both sides of this House? If I may give him some fatherly advice, it would not be a bad idea to leave some copies of the report in the Cabinet room.

Mr WHITLAM - There is no need for the honourable member to be modest about his interest in tariffs. Nobody in the Parliament, during his years in it, has devoted so much interest and attention to this matter as he has, and whether honourable members on either side agree with him wholly or partly or not at all, they are all in his debt for having alerted them to the very large issues involved. I believe that one great value of Australia's joining the OECD has been the examination which the OECD made in association with Australian officials, the results of which it has published. I certainly commend to honourable members the comments that the OECD made on Australia's unusually high and elaborate tariff structure. There are copies of the document in the Parliamentary Library. I had thought of tabling it but there is some doubt whether a document produced by an international organisation should properly be tabled in this Parliament. It is not our copyright. If honourable members want more copies I certainly will obtain them.

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