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Wednesday, 25 February 1942

Mr BEASLEY - Whe ther the policy of the Government in regard to petrol rationing is scientific or otherwise is a debatable point. The practice followed by this Government and its predecessor was to draw up a table allotting a fixed ration for the various kinds of motor users, private, commercial, industrial, &c. It is very difficult to discriminate between one person and another within any one category. In each instance, a flat-rate reduction was introduced, and that seems tome to be the only practicable way in which the scheme can be administered. It is impossible, as a general practice, to deal with individual cases. However, in spite of the difficulty of dealing with individuals, the Liquid Fuel Boards in the various States have been prepared to consider cases of the kind mentioned by the honorable member.

Mr.Rosevear. - Yes, and they always reject applications.

Mr BEASLEY - It is probably true that, within the last few months, rejections have been general.

Mr.Pollard. - How many prosecutions have been launched against luxury users of petrol?

Mr BEASLEY - I ask honorable members how they would deal with the case of a man with a business licence who sometimes uses his car for luxury purposes. If the honorable member will bring under the notice of the Liquid Fuel Board or the Supply Department particulars of individual cases, they will be investigated.

Mr ROSEVEAR - Has the attention of the Minister for the Army been drawn to the scandalous waste of petrol by military motor vehicles, particularly transport vehicles of 3-ton capacity, which run between camps and ordnance stores, and camps and depots? Often their load does not exceed a couple of hundredweight. In order to conserve petrol so that civil users may obtain a more liberal allowance, will the Minister arrange for the military authorities to rationalize the work of the motor transport section by ensuring that motor lorries are loaded to capacity?

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