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PREFERENCE TO U.K. INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION Parliamentary Reporter. WELLINGTON, this day. Indications of the Government's policy in relation to rehabilitation, full employment, replacing shortages, industrial expansion and overseas trade were given in his Budget speech last evening by the Minister of Finance. Of the tasks ahead, Mr. Nash said, first priority must be given to doing all possible to hasten a victorious conclusion of the war against Japan.

Mr. Nash said the organisation for handling the rehabilitation of returned servicemen was now well established and had had considerable experience in dealing with the large number of men and women who had already been discharged from the forces. -In accord with its advocacy at the San Francisco Conference of Nations, the Government's policy was one of full employment, but that was only a means to the real objective of a better standard of living for all. Where men were to be employed had generally to determine where houses would be required, but that fact would not delay efforts to overcome the immediate pressing housing needs, particularly in the main cities. Location and magnitude of production would also be important factors in planning power and transport requirements.

Priorities in Imports

The Government would facilitate the carrying-out*of deferred maintenance work, and the replacement of worn-out and obsolete plant on farms and in factories. Importations for these purposes, as well as for expansion of industry, replacement of trucks for essential road transport, requirements for the railways and for hydro-electric and other power units, together with raw materials to enable industries to operate at full capacity, would make heavy demands on overseas resources, but these categories had to receive priority.

Large sums would also be wanted for imported commodities required in making good the wear-and-tear of the war years in the homes of the people. During the war years imports for civilian purposes had fallen into arrears, and a considerable proportion of those arrears would have to be made good in order to restore the economy of the Dominion. .It could be done only as goods became available overseas and as and when we had the requisite resources to pay for the goods. Our sterling balances were now about twice as large as was considered normal in pre-war years, but, having regard to the substantial rise in overseas prices and the huge volume of arrears of requirements, it was quite clear that we would have to husband our overseas resources carefully and ensure that sufficient iwas reserved for essential requirements. Fostering of Exports "The Government intends to foster our export trade as much as possible and endeavour to find new avenues for such trade, thereby increasing our ability to import, but it is clear that only a minority of the population can be employed on farms," said Mr. Nash. "This being so, the only way we can achieve a better standard of living for every one is to manufacture more goods in New Zealand. The policy is to obtain full employment in making those things that can be most economically manufactured here, and particularly in industries that can utilise our own raw materials. Our main industries are, and will remain, our export industries, which have to face competition on the world's markets. Therefore, in aiding any new industries we musi ensure that costs in the primary industries are not unfairly increased.

"Concerning external trade, it should always be borne in mind that the United Kingdom buys the vast bulk of our exports, and that, wherever quality and price are reasonably competitive, it is plainly in our interest to buy goods of British manufacture. Where new types of manufactures in New Zealand, and particularly those that need to be in large units, are found to he economic in pursuance of a policy of obtaining full- employment in productive industry, we will, in accordance with our obligations already undertaken, invite the views of United Kingdom industries, and, should they so desire, give United Kingdom interests concerned an opportunity to put forward proposals for establishing factories in the Dominion. While adhering to the long-established policy of preference for British goods, the Government is fully aware of the interdependence of all countries in economic welfare, and are ready at any time to support international arrangements that will facilitate an expansion of world trade and stabilise it at a high level."

Mr. Nash referred to the danger of inflation • during the immediate post-war years, emphasising that continuation of the stabilisation scheme and of price control over this period would be a vital necessity. Price control procedures would be so altered and simplified so as not to impede expansion of production. 'To obtain the all-important expansion in production it is the policy of the Government to give reasonable priority to factory buildings, to accord any necessary priority or sponsorship in the importation of essential machinery or tools, and generally to give every practicable assistance and encouragement towards the reconstruction and expansion of our industries," added the Minister. "We will ensure that any worth-while activity that is economically sound is not held up for lack of finance."

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Bibliographic details

TRADE POLICY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

Word Count

TRADE POLICY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 188, 10 August 1945

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