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Wednesday, 29 November 1944

Mr BARNARD (Bass) .- The committee accepted the offer of the Attorney-General to postpone clause 10 on the condition that the remainder of the bill could bc proceeded with, and no reasons have been advanced why that arrangement should not be honoured. The honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony) read certain passages from a report which appeared, last April, in the Launceston Examiner relating to a debate in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. I point out, however, that the bill relating to the aluminium industry which was, at that time, before the State House was subsequently passed by it. Later it was also passed by the Legislative Council of Tasmania. Labour has only four out of the eighteen representatives in that chamber, which shows that the anti-Labour members of the chamber must have supported the bill. The agreement contained in the schedule to this bill was signed by the Attorney-General (Dr. Evatt) on behalf of the Commonwealth, and by the State Premier (Mr. Cosgrove) on behalf of Tasmania. In the circumstances I can see no reason why we should not approve of this clause. If the agreement were amended in any way a new measure would have to be submitted to the Tasmanian Parliament. I point out to honorable members that similar reasons to those which have been advanced against this proposal were advanced years ago against the proposal to establish the newsprint industry in Tasmania, in which substantial sums of Government money are invested. Probably the reason why anti-Labour members of $he Tasmanian Legislative Council agreed to this scheme was that the Tasmanian newsprint industry has been so successful. We all know that that industry is to be expanded. There has been no attempt to " steam-roller " this measure through the Parliament. The suggestion that transport difficulties might make it hard for the chairman of the Commission to visit Tasmania frequently is ridiculous, for it is possible in these days to travel from Melbourne to Tasmania by air in a couple of hours. I hope that the clause will not be postponed.

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