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Thursday, 13 April 1972
Page: 1077

Senator POKE (TASMANIA) - Does the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry agree that moves by shipping companies outside the Conference lines to ship wool from Australia could result in a substantial benefit to wool growers in that they would be able to market their products more cheaply? Is the Minister aware of the answer given to a question in another place on 11th April in which the Deputy Prime Minister said that if it were decided to ship wool outside the Conference lines there could be serious interference with existing services to other industries? I ask the Minister whether he can give us an assurance that the interests of our wool growers will be the prime consideration before the interests of the monopoly Conference lines in maintaing high profits with high freight rates?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I can definitely assure the honourable senator that the interests of wool growers will be paramount in both my thinking and the thinking of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry in regard to the shipping of wool. In recent times I have read quite a good deal of comment about shipping outside the Conference lines. I understand that very shortly - in the next day or two - there is to be a meeting in Europe on this matter. Therefore I would not like to comment further now. However, I assure the honourable senator that I will keep my eye on the results of that meeting and let him have any information I receive.

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