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Thursday, 1 August 1946


Mr Ryan n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that medical officers serving with the forces received from the Government a questionnaire in which they were asked to indicate, amongst other things - (a) whether they would appreciate assistance from the Government to proceed abroad for the purpose of pursuing their medical studies, and (b) whether they were prepared to join a national medical service? 2. (a) If so, to how many officers was the questionnaire sent; (b) how many officers expressed a desire to join a national medical service?


Mr Holloway - The Department of Health has no knowledge of any such questionnaire.

American Magazines.


Mr Forde e.- On the 25th July, the honorable member for Robertson (Mr. Williams) asked a question concerning the reprinting in Australia of American magazines. I have conferred with the Minister for Trade and Customs and now inform the honorable member as follows:-

1.   The control which formerly applied under the National Security (Metal Foil and Paper) Regulations over the use of paper in the printingand publishing of periodicals was removed on the 1st March, 1946. As a licence for such purpose is therefore no longer required under the regulations, the Department of Trade and Customs does not keep any record of periodicals which have come into production in Australia since that date nor exercise any control over them. Any materials imported for the purpose of producing periodicals in Australia would, of course, be subject to compliance with the usual customs requirements. The licence referred to by the honorable member would be, it is assumed, the one granted to the Australian publishers by the American proprietors of the magazines. If any periodical which offends against State law is being produced in Australia action against the publishers would be a matter for the State authorities concerned. The Minister has had inquiries made but these have not elicited any information which would enable him to give a categorical answer to the first part of the honorable member's question.

2.   The Minister has no knowledge of the American magazine nor of the proposal referred to by the honorable member, and, in this connexion, his attention is invited to the reply to part1 of his question.

3.   The Minister believes that, whether the periodicals are printed in Australia or imported, the purpose served is the same, that is, to meet the Australian demand. He believes also that the question of priorities in securing the printing and binding of books and other publications is essentially a matter for decision by publishing firms themselves and not one in which the Commonwealth Government would wish to interfere.

Telephone Services.


Mr Calwell l. - On the 30th July, the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Bryson) asked a question in the following terms : -

In portion of theBrunswick and Coburg exchange area many people have been waiting for five years or more for the provision of a telephone service. The underground cable position there has been acute since 1930 and nothing has yet been done to improve it. What is the prospect of applicants in the area being provided with telephones in the near future?

The Postmaster-General has supplied the following information: -

A new exchange building at Coburg, which wasplanned some considerable time ago, has recently been completed, and automatic equipment is now being installed therein. The new exchange will provide initially for 700 lines and is expected to be ready for service in about four months' time. When completed, it will afford substantial relief to underground cable plant in the Brunswick and Coburg districts. The plans of the Postal Department also provide for the laying of additional underground cable in the area as soon as supplies of this material become available.

Primary Products: Prices.


Mr Chifley y. - In connexion with a question asked by the honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Rankin) on the 26th July regarding prices of primary products, I have conferred with the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture and understand that the negotiations at present being undertaken with the Government of the United Kingdom, concerning prices of meat, butter and cheese, are proceeding satisfactorily. There are no further negotiations in regard to other primary products. An announcement of the result of the negotiations will be made at the appropriate time. However, the honorable member for Bendigo mustbe aware of the 'action already taken by the Commonwealth Government in regard to prices paid to dairy producers, and of the further decision by the Government to purchase meat, surplus to the ration in the States of the Commonwealth at prices related to the existing ceiling prices. I suggest that, in these circumstances, the interests of the producers are being ' and will continue to be adequately safeguarded.







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