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Wednesday, 3 June 1942


Mr PERKINS (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Supply and Development aware that owing to petrol rationing many wood carters in country towns have been forced out of business, with the result that householders, particularly those in the colder districts, are suffering from lack of warmth? Will he see that the allowance of petrol' which was formerly made to those who have been forced out of business shall be given to those who remain in business in order that the supply of firewood may be maintained?


Mr BEASLEY - It is not fair to say that these men have been forced out of business. The truth is that the owners of trucks were given notice to adopt their vehicles for the use of substitute fuels so that, if supplies of petrol were cut off, they would not have to pull their trucks into the sides of the roads. They were allowed plenty of time in which to make the change. Many owners did not take the warning seriously and have not converted their vehicles for tie use of sub stitute fuels. Now, when the firewood problem has become serious, they are exercising a certain degree of pressure in an endeavour to cause a relaxation of the restrictions. I remind honorable members that my duty is to endeavour to conserve the liquid fuel supplies of this country, and, in order to do this, restrictions must be imposed on many people. I believe that every honorable member will agree that it. is far better to impose these restrictions than to allow our stocks to reach such a low ebb that our aircraft or mechanized units will be unable to proceed to their battle stations because supplies of liquid fuel are not available.







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