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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2278

Senator GREENWOOD (Tasmania) -I rise only to raise a matter- I seek a response from the Minister for Agriculture (Senator Wriedt) who represents the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) in this place- which was adverted to earlier this day during the debate on the motion that the Appropriation Bill be read a first time. I refer to the proposal which I understand is a firm government decision to establish an import export company. I ask the Minister whether he is able to say that the statement attributed to Dr Cairns when he was in Singapore, and which is not denied by him, that the Parliament is to be by-passed is a statement which can now be confirmed or whether it is a statement which can be denied categorically? Is the Minister in a position to say whether this corporation, when it is established, will be established by legislation or whether it will be established in the way that Dr Cairns has said is by-passing Parliament? I ask this in the light of the fact that Senator Wriedt forwarded a letter to the Chairman of the Estimates Committee, Senator Primmer, in which he indicated that it would be only natural, having regard to the attitude of the Opposition in this place, that the Minister would be looking at ways other than by passing legislation through the Senate to have the organisation established. I ask the Minister to be more specific than he has been in such responses as he has given already and to indicate what is the Government's intention. Is it prepared to say what it will be doing?

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