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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Mr MAKIN - I have been aware for some considerable time of the drift of labour from Tasmania to the mainland. I have no doubt that a very large proportion of it has been skilled labour. With, a view to meeting the situation, a programme was evolved which resulted in the establishment of an annexe at the Launceston railway workshops to undertake certain work in connexion with shell manufacture. A further annexe is in course of construction at Hobart. I realize that, even so. there is evidently s surplus of technical labour available. The honorable gentleman will remember that, during my visit to Tasmania some weeks neo. a. request was made to me for the establishment of a plant for the manufacture of fuses in conjunction with tb"- man nf actu re of shells. The balancing of the programme makes it inopportune at the moment to install a further fuse factory in Tasmania. With a view to ascertaining what technical skill and machines are available in Tasmania and the extent to which they may be utilized in the manufacture of machine tools, I am having a survey made of the position. I hope to be able shortly to give to the honorable gentleman a definite reply as to the extent to which that may be possible.

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