Over the years we've had slogans rammed into us: "Buy Australian", "Made in Australia". However, America caused a storm in a coffee cup. An article on the front page of The Canberra Times this day in 1987 caused a few ALP politicians to blush.
Right at the Australian heart of things, where the prime minister's true-blue, buy Australia campaign was spawned, the bottoms of cardboard cups in the Parliament House cafeteria bared "Made by Solo Cup Co., Chicago, USA".
Those responsible for running the cafeteria, and who initially pleaded ignorance of the whole affair, were able to tell The Canberra Times that the Chicago cups had only been on trial and would not be used again.
A spokesperson for the cafeteria said they had cost $16 less per 1000 than the Australian cups normally used and it was "probably the cost factor that led our stores person to try that sample in the first place".
"We weren't aware that they were not made in Australia," the spokesperson said.
The cups had been bought through a Canberra distributor and had been on trial for about a week. The results of the trial? Some people thought the Chicago cups looked a lot nicer but complained that the handles were too small.
The Joint House Department, which is responsible for running the cafeteria, was "stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea" in trying to be as economical as it could while buying Australian where practicable.