Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 12 August 1920

Mr HUGHES (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) (Prime Minister and Attorney-General) . - (By leave.) - Yesterday afternoon I saw Mr. Lawson, the Premier of Victoria, and discussed the coal situation with him. I asked him for certain information which he has promised to supply. I also got in touch with the steam-ship owners,who promised to do what they could to make tonnage available, and to get into communication with the coal proprietors. I asked them to let me know the result of their communications, and when coal supplies might be expected, and they have furnished me with the following information : -

The following steamers will leave Newcastle for Victoria between to-day and Saturday of this week, viz.: -


The following steamers are due to arrive in Newcastle between to-day and Thursday of next week to load coal for Victoria, viz: - .


making a total of 45,000 tons.

From the above list it will be seen that there is no likelihood of Victoria's public utilities or industries having to close down for want of coal during the next week or two, and after that period it is confidently expected that coal supplies will improve materially.

It is necessary to mention that the shortage of coal is by no means entirely due to exports. The frequent stoppages, lasting from one to several days, caused by the employees at. various collieries on trivial grounds, have greatly contributed . to the shortage. During the month of June no less than 82 days were lost in this manner; during July 54 days were lost, and up to the 10th August 23 days were lost. The output of coal lost from these stoppages would represent no less than about 100,000 tons. The whole of the collieries of New South Wales were laid idle on Wednesday, 30th June, to hold stop-work meetings, which could have been just as well held on a back Saturday or a Sunday. Many of the miners themselves were of the same opinion. Furthermore, a few days ago several of the largest collieries were laid idle by the men, ostensibly for industrial reasons, but actually to enable them to celebrate the release from prison of certain gentlemen in New South Wales.

I shall keep the House posted from time to time with whatever further information comes to hand, but it will be seen that steps have already been taken to prevent the existing shortage in Victoria from becoming acute, and to enable the public utilities of. the State, including gas works and electric lighting plants, to carry on.

Suggest corrections