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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

PORT Augusta.

The tobacco shortage here and at Quorn will be relieved following representations which were made to the federal authorities for an increase in the quota.

Advice to this effect has been received by Mr. Riches, M.P., from the Minister for Trade and Customs.

I have received no advice from the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator Keane) that representation had been made to him by a member of the State Parliament.

On another occasion, Mr. J. M. Beerworth, who is a colleague of Mr. Riches, approached me with a letter which he had received from the Quorn Water Trust. It requested the Minister for the Interior to order the cleaning of the dam, which when it contained water, supplied the Commonwealth Railways. Mr. Beerworth gave to me the letter which was dated the 2nd April. On the same day, I forwarded it to the Minister for the Interior and advised him of the necessity for urgent action. About a week later, the Minister wrote to me that Mr. Riches had approached him, and that he was dealing with the matter. If Mr. Beerworth, through me, had not made the representations to the Minister for the Interior, I would have been ignorant of the whole affair. I should like to know whether the policy, which was followed by previous Governments of acquainting federal members of representations affecting their constituencies, has been abandoned. Now, the first intimation that a federal member receives is when a reference to the subject is published in the press. I strongly support the remarks of the honorable member for Darwin (Sir George Bell) and the honorable member for "Wilmot (Mr. Guy). The Government, at the present time, is too ready to give to State governments information which should be conveyed through federal members. That has happened more than once in South Australia.

The allocation to country newspapers of South Australia of advertisements relating to National Security Regulations has caused concern. For a considerable time, the country press, which is represented by' Mr. 0. O'Reilly, of Adelaide, has been endeavouring to obtain these advertisements. Many country people particularly those living in the electorate of Grey, purchase the local publication because city newspapers are some days old when they reach outback centres. With one exception, country newspapers have notsucceeded in obtaining these advertisements. This appears to be an instance of discrimination, because the successful newspaper is conducted by L. G. Riches, a Labour member of the State Parliament, who- controls the Transcontinental, at Port Augusta. This journal has a circulation of 850. but other newspapers in my electorate have a circulation exceeding 2,000 copies. I ask the Government to give consideration to this matter in order to ensure an equitable distribution of advertisements among the country newspapers of South Australia.

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