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Studying history can be a tiresome pursuit, but once in a while something comes completely out of left field to make you sit up and pay attention. This is one of those moments. The Australian national archives have released government documents which reveal that, in 1978, the Australian government was prepared to endorse a deal that would have... wait for it... traded beef for cars. Alfa Romeos, to be precise.

To be fair, the deal wasn't to trade sides of beef for actual cars. No, that would come too close to actually, you know... making sense. This deal would have traded 7,000 metric tons of beef and offal (entrails, hooves and whatnot) in exchange for quotas, as in the right to import Alfas into Australia. In the late 70's, apparently, Australia had very tight regulations on the number of cars which could be imported from any particular country, while the European Economic Community had similar quotas on the importation of foreign meat. The deal would have allowed both parties – even though they were the governments themselves (Alfa was state-owned at the time) – to circumvent the trade regulations. Of course the deal didn't go through, which is just as well because the whole ideal was utterly ridiculous.

[Source: Drive.com.au]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      This idea is far from ridiculous. Barter Trading happens all the time on the global market place even today for a variety of very good reasons.
      Many of the products you and I buy of the shelf today were first traded for another product first.
      Just remember that prior to the cash society, there was only barter trade and it will never end.
      What is the difference between trading a cow for a car and trading pieces of printed paper ($) for a car?
      I would take the cow, anytime, gives me milk and just now I have many cows.

      You still bartering so get wise!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Suddenly the waiter appeared. "Sir, would you care to meet the dish of the day?"
      "Dish of the day?" said Arthur.
      "Sure," replied Zaphod. "Let's meet the meat."

      And all this time I thought Australia (and Italy) had been demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a milk cow, not a beef cow, in your photo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll trade a new Tundra for a McDonald's quarter pounder with cheese.
      Jjust to make it fair, take off the cheese.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This kinda thing probably goes on all the time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would have thought the idea udderly ridiculous
        • 6 Years Ago
        He sure did beef you to it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This story is cowtrageous.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ice it, slice it, cook it and you wouldn't know the difference between two buns.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll trade you 4 limousine cattle for one limousine car.

      How about a dozen Galloways for a Callaway?

      Could I trade you 6 Gobras for your Cobra?

      Maybe 10 Highlands for a Highlander?

      • 6 Years Ago
      This was quite common at the time, here in New Zealand our government traded milk for ladas with the Russians, which was regrettable considering alfas were on offer