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Thursday, 27 June 1946

Mr BERNARD CORSER (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) r asked the Minister for Labour and . National Service, upon notice -

1.   Has he any official statistics to give the House concerning the number of men who left rural industries from the time Japan entered the war to the end of the war (a) to join the services and (b) toenter munitions and other war factories?

2.   Was any action taken by the Government to maintain adequate man-power for rural and food-producing industries between the time Japan entered the war and March, 1942?

3.   How many former rural workers were discharged from the services to return to primary industries in 1942, 1943, 1944, and the remaining period until the end of the war?

4.   Is any information available to show the numbers of such men who actually returned to primary industries?

5.   How many men were engaged in primary industries at the outbreak of war?

6.   How many men were engaged in such industries at the latest date for which figures are available?

Mr HOLLOWAY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   No, but the figures would be small, as steps were taken by the Man Power Directorate to prevent further withdrawals of rural labour. These steps included(a) from March, 1942, when the schedule of reserved occupations drawn up the directorate replaced that previously operative.greater restrictions were placed upon the enlistment of men from rural industries: (b) from May, 1942, recruitment of persons engaged in production of meat, wool, wheat, dairy products, vegetables, pig meats, sugar, fruit, rice, tobacco, cotton and honey was discontinued entirely; (c) from August, 1942, persons engaged in rural industry were not permitted to transfer to munitions and other war factories.

2.   Yes.

3.   From October, 1943, onwards recommendations for the discharge of over 61,000 men for rural and ancillary industries were included in the recommendations made by the Man Power Directorate for discharges on occupational grounds. Over 41,000 of these were approved and this figure represents 43 per cent, of the total discharge on occupational grounds. The great majority of these discharges were made during 1944.

4.   No.

5.   502,000 in July, 1939.

6.   The occupation survey in June. 1945, indicates there were about 416,000 engaged in rural industries. Since that date the figure will have been considerably increased as a result of discharged servicemen returning to those industries.

Coal-mining Industry: Open-cut Production.

Mr Abbott t asked the Minister representing the Minister for Supply and Shipping, upon notice -

1.   Will hesupple the production figures for the years . 1942-43, 1943-44, 1944-45. and up to the 31st March, 1946, of black coal produced by "open-cut" operations in (a) New South Wales, and (b) the rest of the Commonwealth

2.   How many men are employed in black coal "open-cut'' in (a) New South Wales, and (b) the rest of theCommonwealth ?

Mr Dedman - The Minister for Supply and Shipping has supplied the following answers: -


2.   Number of men employed in black coal "open-cut" operations in New South Wales, approximately 200; in other States, approximately 150.

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