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Tuesday, 7 September 1920

Mr HUGHES (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) (Prime Minister) - I desire to make a correction, and also to state the intention of the Government in regard to the payment of a bounty for the discovery of oil. I find that a statement on the subject which appears in Hansard, of 14th May last, page 2141, is ambiguous. Honorable members will recollect that the Government originally intended to pay a reward of £10,000 for the discovery of commercial oil on the mainland of Australia. The statement in Hansard is, however, that " We shall increase the reward offered to those who find oil in payable quantities, either on the mainland, or in New Guinea, or German New Guinea." That is not so. What we propose to do is to increase to £50,000 the reward to those persons who find oil onthe mainland of Australia, where our original offer holds good. I wish to make that quite clear, because the Company is being paid for its work in Papua. The offer to pay a reward does not apply where the Company is working.

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