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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 818

Senator WILLESEE - I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry: In view of the announcement this morning that China is to buy $25m worth of wheat from the United States of America, will the Minister say whether any approach was made to Australia to supply this wheat?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I saw the report in this morning's newspaper but I cannot find out whether it is true; therefore I cannot give the honourable senator any information. I point out to him that the other day in relation to a similar question on the sale of wheat to China I said that the Chinese were very shrewd businessmen and that they would buy in the world market when they were ready to buy and when prices, freight rates and all other things were right. I also indicated to the Senate at that time that I had been informed that China was having a bad season in relation to its rice crop, that I believed China would be coming on the world markets for wheat and that I hoped Australia would receive an order for wheat. I shall seek some further information as soon as I can to see whether Australia had been approached in the first place.

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