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Friday, 15 May 1942

Mr BEASLEY (WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Supply and Development) - The production of aluminium in Australia is a matter that has been and is under almost constant attention. The problem that has confronted this and the previous Administration is that of obtaining the necessary equipment for the manufacture of aluminium. As the war has become more intensified in relation to Australia, and shipping difficulties have consequently been accentuated, the problem has become more acute. The real difficulty is to procure electrical equipment, which in the United States of America is in short supply outside the high priorities laid down for other works. At the moment, the closest approach that can be made to the production of aluminium in Australia is in the extension of the rolling plants already established for the purpose of dealing with ingots. The Secretary to the Department of Supply and Development, as I remarked the other day, made it one of his particular tasks during his visit to Washington, to inquire what progress could be made in this matter. We have not relaxed our efforts in the slightest degree, and shall continue to press to have this electrical equipment made a high priority for Australia. It is hoped that eventually the industry will be established in this country.

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