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Thursday, 11 May 1939

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable gentleman not consider that the qualifications of the technicians who advise the Imperial Government on the subject of the extraction of oil from coal are as high asthose held by Sir DavidRivett ? If so, how does he reconcile lack of action in- Australia with the extensive operations in the United Kingdom with a view to making that country independent of foreign fuels for national requirements, the result of which is that the Royal Air Force is now able to depend on oil produced in Great Britain?

Mr CASEY - I cannot discuss the extent to which Great Britain is independent of imported oil supplies, but it may ease the honorable member's mind if I inform him that the Government has access to many sources of information on this subject. The authorities in Great Britain have been most generous in supplying us with information of a technical nature relating to the extraction of oil from coal. The Government also knows something of the extent to which such oil is being used in other countries. If I could make that information public the honorable gentleman might be surprised at the degree to which it differs from his own opinions.

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