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Wednesday, 9 November 1938

Mr PRICE - How much ore is there is what we want to know.

Mr GREGORY - I submit that we could have got that information fairly accurately through geophysical survey. However, the Government intends to survey the deposits at Yampi Sound by tunnelling, and it will bear the whole of that expenditure, which, it is estimated, will be between £30,000 and E40,000. That estimate was supplied to me by Major Vail when I was last in Western Australia. [Leave to continue given."] I repeat that if the results obtained from the geophysical method in other countries are of- any value at all, we could get a fairly accurate idea of the tonnage of these deposits. It is ridiculous to accept the report that ore below the high-water level at Yampi Sound cannot be mined. We shall not get anywhere if we accept advice of that kind.

I.   remind honorable members of the loss which it is estimated Western Australia will suffer through the imposition of this embargo. We must also bear in mind the loss of trade with Japan which will result from the imposition of this embargo. All of us are aware of the losses which the woolgrowers of this country sustained as the result of this Government's trade diversion policy. I entirely disapprove of legislation of this kind. I cannot go so far as to allege that the Government, in imposing this embargo, yielded to vicious influences. I prefer to believe that it was actuated by the fear that Japan might obtain control of the valuable deposits at Yampi Sound. That fear, however, is quite unfounded, because every safeguard has been provided to ensure that the Government of Western Australia, as well as this Government, shall retain that control. I repeat that it would bo far more preferable to develop these resources than merely to allow them to remain unworked. I recall that when, in 1924, the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited was approached with the object of developing these deposits it refused to have anything to do with the proposition. So small a quantity as 15,000,000 tons which, it was proposed, should be the maximum quantity allowed to be exported under this contract, is but a small proportion of the total deposits. The exploitation of these deposits would mean a great deal in the development of the northwest, and would enable us to police and people that part of the Commonwealth, whereas the policy of this Government in this instance must not only antagonize other nations, but also destroy Western Australia's hope of settling the north-west and inflict a serious injury on that State in respect of its commerce and finances.

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