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Thursday, 3 September 1942

Mr BEASLEY (WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Supply and Development) - The Department of Supply and Development has been kept fully advised of the high quality of the bauxite in the Gippsland district.

Mr Paterson - Does that relate to the recent discoveries?

Mr BEASLEY - I do not know exactly what the honorable member regards as " recent ". The general position in relation to bauxite in Gippsland is well known. Samples tested have been well up to standard. The point raised by the honorable member in relation to equipment is not so easily met. For a long time we have been pressing for the supply of equipment for this purpose from the United States of America. The Attorney-General (Dr. Evatt) took the subject up while he was in America recently. We have succeeded in getting additional equipment for treating ingots for the rolling mills to be erected in a town in Victoria, but so far we have not succeeded in obtaining equipment for the treatment of the bauxite. In order to satisfy the American authorities in this connexion, we must secure the support of the American lease-lend representatives in Australia. Steps have been taken, through the Allied Supply Council, to secure this endorsement. Everything that can be done in this connexion has been done and certain representations have been conveyed to the Government of the United States of America. The whole problem is difficult, but we are taking all steps within our power to secure the requisite approval. We shall continue to press our claim until success has been achieved.

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