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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3455


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/11/1974

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3455

November 1974
The Prime Minister, Mr. Whitlam, announced today that
he had sent a reference to the Textiles Authority within the
Industries Assistance Commission covering a wide range of men's,
women's, children's and infants' clothing, hosiery and gloves.
Mr. Whitlam said that this action was being taken as a result of
high and rising levels of imports and an apparent total
availability of such goods on the Australian market substantially
in excess of previous levels.
The reference seeks the advice of the Authority on
whether action should be taken in terms of the GATT Textiles
Arrangement, to which Australia acceded earlier this year, to
restrain imports into Australia. The Authority has also been
asked that if it is found that restraint measures are necessary
and that measures which may be recommended in accordance with
the GATT Textiles Arrangement are unlikely to overcome the
market disruption, what other measures, if any, should be taken
to overcome the disruption. The Authority has been requested
to report within 45 days in relation to certain shirts and
pyjamas and within 75 days in respect of the remainder of the
goods covered by the reference.
The Prime Minister emphasised that the questions of
whether it would be necessary to have negotiations on the goods
in question with exporting countries or take other action would
have to await examination of the recommendations of the Textiles
Authority. Mr. Whitlam said that, altP~ ough it is not clear to the
Government at this stage that action on all goods covered by
this latest reference is necessary, he considered it important
that the Government be able to take the initiative in having
investigations undertaken so that action can be taken promptly
if found necessary.

The Prime Minister invited manufacturers and other
interested parties to start preparing submissions now to the
Authority, which would announce arrangements for publichearings
shortly. The Prime Minister also pointed out that should
the need for action emerge from the report of the Textiles
Authority, goods ordered overseas but not cleared for home
consumption at the date of announcement of any action would
be subject to the terms of the action. Importers should
therefore exercise caution in placing orders overseas and in
entering into financial commitments on such orders as it may
not be possible to give special consideration to outstanding
commitments should action be recommended by the Textiles
Authority. CANBERRA, A. C. T.

Transcript 3455