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Thursday, 10 May 1973
Page: 2046

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   What examination has the Department of Primary Industry undertaken of the impact of British entry into the European Economic Community on all Australia's exporting industries.

(2)   Will the Minister publish any papers that are in the possession of the Department concerning any such examination.

(3)   Will the Minister advise, in particular, what impact the enlarged community will have on exports of sugar, wheat, dairying products, meat, canned and dried fruits, and apples and pears, and will he make available all information the Department has on the matter.

Dr Patterson - The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The possible impact of the European Economic Community's enlargement, and in particular of Britain's entry, on Australia's rural exports has been and remains a subject of close and continuing scrutiny by the Department of Primary Industry and its economic research unit, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. The issue has been considered on both an aggregate basis and at the individual commodity level and numerous reports have been prepared.

(2)   Copies of reports completed by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics which deal with the subject are available on request from the Bureau. Recent reports include:

Impact on Australia's Agricultural Trade of the United Kingdom's Accession to an Enlarged European Economic Community', Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. XXV, No. 3, July 1972;

The Australian Farm Situation: 1971-72', Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. XXV, No. 1, January 1972. "The Australian Farm Situation: 1972-73', Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, January 1973.

Export Market Prospects for Australian Canned Deciduous Fruits', Occasional Paper No. 6; "The Outlook for the Australian Canned Deciduous Fruits Industry', Occasional Paper No. 12;

The Market for Australian Applesin the United Kingdom', Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. XXV, No. 2, April 1972;

Markets for Australian Fresh Pears', Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. XXV, No. 4, October 1972;

The Dairy Situation, No. 18, October 1972;

Present World Dairy Production and Market Outlets - Trends Likely to Influence These in the Future - Australian Production and Market Situation and Trends', Paper presented at Commonwealth Dairy Farm Management Conference, Sydney, July 1972;

The Meat Situation, No. 1, August 1972;

The EEC Market for Beef and Veal', Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, July 1971;

Trends in EEC Production Consumption and Trade', The Coarse Grain Situation, No. 16, November 1971;

Substitution in the Supply of Cereals in France', The Coarse Grains and Oilseeds Situation, No. 17, November 1972;

Keynote Addresses and Background Papers presented at the Third National Agricultural Outlook Conference, Canberra, February 1973.

Keynote Addresses: 'The World Agricultural Situation' and 'International Trading Arrangements'.

Background Papers:'The Outlook for Cereals', The Outlook for Meat', 'The Outlook for Dairy Products','The Outlook for Fruit', 'The Outlook for Sugar', 'The Outlook for Oilseeds and Pulses', 'The Outlook for Eggs', 'The Outlook for Rice', 'The Outlook for Wool' and 'The Outlook for Cotton'.

Other research into the question is continuing and reports will be published as individual research projects are completed.

(3)   The assessment of the impact of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community is a complex task involving a comparison between what might have happened in both the original and new member countries of the EEC in the absence of the Common Market's enlargement and what might happen as a result of this enlargement. To make such comparisons it is necessary to assess the possible future course of production, consumption and trade in farm commodities in Britain, the former members and other new members under the 2 alternatives. Any such assessment must take into account the possibility for substitution in both production and consumption between the various farm products. It must be based also on assumptions about future trends in agricultural policies in the older and newer Common Market members in the absence of and with the EEC's enlargement.

There are other areas of uncertainty as well; for instance the measures dealing with the entry of Commonwealth sugar into the United Kingdom after the expiry of the British Commonwealth Sugar Agreement at the end of 1974 are still to be negotiated. The adoption of the Value Added Tax system in Britain could also have some impact on the prospective situation. Nor is it by any means certain that the European Economic Community will retain its Common Agricultural Policy completely unchanged in its present form, Britain has already made moves for a review of the CAP aimed at reducing food prices below the levels that would exist under the present policy.

The assessments that have been made must be revised continually in the light of new developments regarding the trade and agricultural policies of the many countries concerned.

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