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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - I ask the Minister for Supply and Development (Mr. Beasley) to furnish to honorable members -the personnel of the directorate of the particular enterprise to which he referred, because I am most interested to obtain full information about the foundations upon which the bill is based. The honorable member for Gippsland (Mr. Paterson) urged the Minister to modify the conditions of the repayment to the Government of the advance under an agreement which, he said, has been made or is likely to be made with the company engaged in the enterprise at Lakes Entrance. I am not greatly concerned about that. If oil be struck in payable quantities there, the repayment of an advance of £50,000 or £500,000 will not be very difficult. Once oil is struck in quantity, the returns are pretty high. If I understood the Minister correctly, he stated that the Government would become a shareholder in the company in the event of the discovery of oil.

Mr Beasley - The honorable member has misunderstood me ; I did not say that

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - We must elucidate that in committee. The first matters of importance are to discover the personnel of the directorate, whether the Government has received a request during the last few days to make this amount available, and, if so, by whom was it made.

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