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Wednesday, 3 April 1946

Mr Chifley y. - On the 27th March the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) asked the following questions, upon notice : -

1.   Is it a fact that on the 26th February representatives of the Australian Overseas Transport Association approached the Minister for Supply and Shipping and intimated that efforts were being made to resuscitate that body and desired to know the Government's attitude towards the proposal ?

2.   Has the Government undertaken to have the matter examined on the supply of certain further information, and to define at an early date its attitude towards the association and, also, the extent, if any, to which Government participation, sponsorship or agreement is considered necessary?

3.   Will he supply the names of the representatives of the association who conferred with the Minister for Supply and Shipping, and indicate what interests they represent and their business associations?

4.   Before the Government agrees to the resuscitation of this body, will he hear the views of certain primary producers and, particularly, the Australian wool-growers, as to the desirability of its re-creation?

5.   Will he undertake before the Government approves of its resuscitation to permit the Parliament to debate the question?

6.   Will he ascertain from the interests concerned what is the connexion, if any, between the Australian Overseas Transport Association, the Oversea Shipping Representatives Association and the London Tonnage Committee?

7.   Have any shipping lines recently approached the Oversea Shipping Representatives Association to join the Overseas Shipping Conference; if so, what reply did they receive?

8.   Will he have prepared a table of freights showing the freight rates operating in1939 for the principal primary products of the Common wealth exported from Australia and those operating to-day?

9.   Will he also have prepared similar tables for like products from the Argentine Republic, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa, for the same dates?

10.   Will he supply the names of the various interests represented on the Australian Overseas Transport Association, the voting strength of such interests in the deliberations of such association, and the name of the chairman ?

The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Yes.

2.   Yes.

3.   Sir FrederickTout, President,Australian Overseas Transport Association; Mr. J. B. Mills, chairman, Australian Apple and Pear Marketing Board: Mr. N. Kingsbury, deputy chairman, Oversea Shipping Representatives Association.

4.   Although the resuscitation of this body is not necessarily subject to the agreement of the Government, consideration would be given to the views of representatives of primary producers before the Government defines its attitude to the general question.

5.   This undertaking cannot be given at the present juncture but the question of placing the matter before Parliament will be considered when all the necessary information has been received.

6.   An endeavour will be made to obtain this information.

7.   It is understood that one line approached the Overseas Shipping Representatives Association but received a negative reply. 8 and 9. This information will be assembled as early as possible.

10.   This information will be obtained and conveyed to the honorable member.

Campaign Medals.

Mr Chifley y. - On the 22nd March the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) asked the following question : -

Will the Prime Minister state whether the Royal Mint in England is striking campaign medals for issue in 1947 to those who served with United Kingdom forces during the war? Have any arrangements been made for the striking of campaign medals in Australia, so that their issue may be made concurrently with the issue in the United Kingdom?

The striking of campaign stars for issue to United Kingdom forces has begun at the Royal Mint, London,and is about to commence at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich. As stated by the Acting Minister for Defence (Mr. Forde) on the14th March, the question of manufacture of campaign stars in Australia is being considered. Specifications and samples of completed stars are being sent from London, but have not yet been received.

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