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Friday, 21 November 1941


Mr DEDMAN (Corio) (Minister for War Organization of Industry) . - I fully realize the importance of the matter raised by the honorable member for Bass (Mr. Barnard). The honorable member has been a consistent advocate of the development of the fishing industry in Australia, particularly in Tasmania. We all realize the importance of the industry at the present juncture, particularly as our imports of tinned fish have been curtailed. An opportunity exists now to develop this industry which may not occur again. Following upon the report on the fishing industry by the Tariff Board a conference was held under the auspices of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research which recommended that a developmental authority be set up to encourage the industry. I have, of course, studied that recommendation carefully. I object to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research being used for the conduct of commercial activities ; I believe that it should confine its activities to research work. I was interested to hear from the honorable member that in other parts of the world the development of the fishing industry has taken place as an adj


Mr Holt - Is it the view of the chief executive officers of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research that that body should not undertake commercial activities?


Mr DEDMAN - Yes. I have discussed this problem with the Minister for Supply and Development. There are many phases of it which must be given proper consideration. For instance, the development of the fishing industry is inextricably bound up with such problems as man-power and the supply of fishing boats. Honorable members will readily understand that this matter has to be given very careful consideration. However, I shall discuss it again with my colleague the Minister for Supply and Development, and we shall endeavour to arrive at a decision as to the kind of developmental authority that should be set up and as to whether it should be placed under the supervision of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research or the Department of Supply and Development. I assure the honorable member that the matter raised by him will receive consideration immediately the Government has the time to give attention to it among the many problems which confront it at present.







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