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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1697

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct this question to the Minister for Agriculture. I refer to the Minister's expressed concern at the Japanese stop-go approach to purchasing wool and meat from Australia- described by the Minister as 'just not acceptable'. I appreciate the Minister's efforts to arrive at a trading situation with Japan beneficial to the meat producing and wool industries with continuity of supply being a basic consideration. I ask: Can the Minister indicate whether there is a real prospect of some form of rationalisation of purchasing arrangements with Japan?

Senator WRIEDT -I indicated during my visit to Japan last week that the Australian Government is desirous of maintaining a regular supply of raw wool to the Japanese market. That is consequent upon discussions which were held in Tokyo in October 1973 when a delegation of Ministers led by the Prime Minister indicated to the Japanese Government our desire to be a reliable supplier of raw materials and foodstuffs to that market. Wool has been, as we all know, a volatile product over the years. The point I was endeavouring to explain last week during my visit to Japan was the fact that if we are to achieve the stability which the industry in this country wants we cannot do it on our own. There must be some comparable effort on the part of the buying nations to assist us to obtain that stability. Unfortunately, in my discussions with the Japanese Minister concerned, Mr Nakasone, he indicated that the Japanese Government at this stage is not prepared to enter into any arrangements with the Japanese industry to help bring about that stability. The Japanese Government takes the position that it is a matter for the Japanese industry to work out solutions to the problems that currently beset it.

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