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Thursday, 1 August 1946

Mr JAMES (Hunter) (2:20 AM) .Clause 4 makes provision for the inclusion of coke and other by-products and . derivatives of coal. I am interested in those by-products, particularly when I reflect that when war broke out in 1939 supplies of oil from other countries were seriously curtailed, and many restrictions had to be imposed. The honorable member for Flinders (Mr. Ryan) has mentioned a number of derivatives of coal, but there are many others. Altogether, there are about 150 by-products of coal, many of which are most useful. During my recent trip overseas I saw many processes for the extraction 'of oil from coal such as the hydrogenation process, the low- temperatures process, and the Fischer - Trospsh process. The last-mentioned ' seems to have the greatest possibilities. There is a probability that within 40 years Australia will be without oil, and in the meantime it would -be well to develop other means of obtaining oil for internal combustion engines. I support the clause because it makes provision for the development of the by-products of coal. Data obtained from Germany show that in the last stages of the war that country relied upon oil from coal. Australia is a considerable distance from natural flow oil wells, and therefore the extraction of oil from coal is a matter of vital importance, to this country. We should also be interested in such by-products of coal as synthetic dyes and plastics. Although many geological surveys 'have been made we have not yet discovered flow oil in Australia. That is all the more reason why we should develop the. production of by-products from . coal.

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