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Friday, 12 July 1946

Mr DEDMAN (CORIO, VICTORIA) (Minister for Post-war Reconstruction) - It is true that production of coal at present is not sufficient to supply all the needs of industry. It was pointed out during a recent debate that the demands on existing coal supplies have risen by leaps and bounds, and that the present requirements of industry throughout the Commonwealth are almost 50 per cent, in excess of those of pre-war years. Existing supplies being' insufficient to meet requirements, all that can be done is to ensure that they shall be distributed equitably. This is done through the Commonwealth-. Coal Commissioner and. committees in each State. The Commonwealth Government is taking all. possible steps, in conjunction with the Government of New South Wales, in which State the main coal deposits are situated, to ensure that new coal-mines and open-out workings will begin production as rapidly as possible. Any further action which the honorable member may be able to suggest, as a means of increasing supplies of coal, will be received by me and examined by the Minister for Supply and Shipping.'

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