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Wednesday, 19 September 1973
Page: 1275

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I would like to thank honourable members for their cooperation. The Government is anxious to get this piece of legislation through the House. As indicated, it is not being opposed in this chamber. I would like to make one or two points because it has been suggested that the Government is imposing a penalty. Firstly let us look at it from the point of view of sheer mathematics. In 1965 the margin was 3.3c. This is 1973 - 8 years later. It cannot be readily contraidcted that the 5c now proposed is virtually the equivalent of 3.3c 8 years ago. This proposal was submitted on that basis. It is purely an adjustment in respect of the inflationary position.

The other point which I think should be answered because I am acting for the Minister for Overseas Trade and Minister for Secondary Industry (Dr J. F. Cairns) is that honourable members should have a look at the efforts being made by the Government particularly in the field of primary products and see what results have been obtained. I refer particularly to the wheat trade with the People's Republic of China and the negotiations on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade now taking place in Tokyo. These are of some significance. As a nation, if we are to make any development in this country it must be done by city and country interests combined. If we do not develop proper markets overseas we will not be looking after this country very effectively. Real efforts have been made by the Government not only in Australia but also outside 'Australia to obtain markets for primary products and also secondary industries. I think some recognition should be given to those efforts because Minister of this Government are very busy and very occupied in putting Australia's case before the world so that advantage will flow right across the board to both city and country dwellers.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

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