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Wednesday, 30 September 1942

Mr BADMAN (GREY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Has the Minister for Supply and Development read in the Adelaide Mail the statement of the Honorable R. S. Richards that South Australia is to receive more coal, but that unjustified criticism of the Federal Government must cease, or responsible authorities would be compelled to confine essential work to areas where steel and coal supplies arc available? Was Mr. Richards authorized by the Minister to issue that warning, and does the Minister approve of the making of such a threat to the manufacturing interests of South Australia ?

Mr BEASLEY - It is true "that I had a long discussion with Mr. Richards on the subject of coal supplies for South Australia. I referred to the fact that war production in South Australia had increased, and that it might be necessary in future to develop war industries in areas closer to the point of coal production. That was not a threat, but a practical approach to the problem. It is not my desire to interfere with the manufacturing interests of South Australia. We are straining every nerve to maintain supplies to that State, and are even assisting in the development of coal resources there. If Mr. Richards made the statement attributed to him, it was probably based on our conversation, but nothing that I said was intended to be a threat; rather was it an indication of what might be necessary in the future.

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