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Tuesday, 30 July 1946


Mr Ryan n asked the Minister for Inform ation upon notice -

1.   How many (a) permanent, and (6) temporary male and female officers were employed in the Department of Information at the end of 1043, 1944, 1945 and at the end of May, 1946?

2.   How many in each class are in receipt of £350 a year or more?

3.   What are their (a) names, (b) duties, (c) salaries, (d) qualifications and (e) military service details?

4.   How many officers of the department have been sent overseas since 1943?

5.   What are their names, to what places have they been sent, what positions are they occupying, and what salaries and allowances do they receive?


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

 

 

 

 

 

House and Cow Rugs.


Mr Dedman n. - On the 24th July, the honorable member for Gippsland (Mr. Bowden) asked a question concerning the sale by the Army Disposals Depot in Victoria of a quantity of horse and cow rugs.

The Minister for Supply and Shipping has now supplied the . following answer : -

No complaints were received in respect of the sale in question. It is a fact that about. 1,500second-hand horse and cow rugs were declared to the Commonwealth Disposals Commission for disposal, and that they were subsequently sold through the Army Salvage Depot at Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne. When the rugs were originally declared for disposal, they were offered to the trade, which, because they were not new, declined to buy at a reasonable price. It was therefore decided to submit them at public auction, and to test the market 50 of the rugs were offered in this way. Despite the fact that the sale was widely advertised and anyone could have attended and purchased, the highest bid received at the auction was 10s. As a reserve price of 12s.6d. had been fixed, the rugs were thereupon withdrawn from sale. It was announced by theauctioneer, however, that the rugs would be available for purchase at 12s. 6d. each at the conclusion of the sale. When the sale was over, the 50 rugs offered were disposed of at this price. In order to dispose of the residue they were advertised during the week commencing 12th June as being available at the Army Salvage Depot ata specified price of 12s. 6d. per rug. Following this action, 153 separate sales were effected ex the Army Salvage Depot and all the rugs available were cleared in this way. In no cases were more than 50 rugs disposed of in any single transaction. It would be very difficult to say whether any of the buyers were Jewish refugees, but it is certain that there was no bulk purchase by any single operator. As there was no bulk purchase, there could not have been any subsequent bulk dealing in the rugs. I stress the fact that all these sales are widely advertised in the press and are open to all the public to attend.

Galvanized Iron, Wire andWire Netting.


Mr Dedman - In reply to a question asked by the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Corser) I promised to institute enquiries as to whether or not Queensland had received its quota of galvanized materials.

The position is that, following the cessation of hostilities, the acute shortage of housing and fencing materials necessitated an overall Commonwealth survey. This survey revealed, inter alia, that production of galvanized iron sheets and wire and wire products was not nearly sufficient to meet the present demand or the estimated future requirements. As a result, the output of these products from the manufacturers was programmed to meet essential requirements, and each State was allotted a percentage of the output, based upon pre-war usage and having regard to special features existing in any one State. The critical factor in increasing the production of galvanized iron sheets and wire and wire products is the availability of man-power. Every effort is being made by the Commonwealth to increase man-power to these industries. The problem is not easy of solution, as, in the case of the production of galvanized iron sheets, the work is heavy and unpleasant and only able-bodied men are suitable for engagement in the industry. The Queensland quota of galvanized iron to the 30th

June was 12,937 tons, of which 11,603 tons has been delivered. Instructions have been issued to the manufacturers to divert to Queensland over the next nine weeks an additional quota of 450 tons to reduce the deficit of 1,334 tons, and further adjustments will be made at the expiration of this period. In addition, Queensland will continue to receive the fixed quota. With regard to butt welded piping, Queensland has received its full quota of production to the 30th June, 1946.

The position concerning wire netting and fencing wire is as follows: -

 

To reduce the deficit of 968 tons of wire netting, the manufacturers have been requested to ship 515 tons out of stock, and arrangements have been made to increase the, weekly allocation to Queensland by an additional 9 tons to 44 tons a week. In the case of fencing wire, the maufacfrurers have been requested to forward 241 tons out of stock to reduce the deficit of 533 tons, and arrangements have been made to increase the weekly allocation to Queensland by an additional 5 tons to 37 tons a week.' The department has maintained very close contact with the shipping authorities in New South Wales, and I am pleased to state that they have been most co-operative in making available the maximum possible tonnage and shipping space to move housing and fencing materials to Queensland. In addition, the New South Wales railways are providing the maximum space to forward goods by rail where shipping space is unavailable. Between the 18th and 24th July, the following vessels either sailed or were loading galvanized iron and/or wire products for shipment to Queensland.: - Cardross, Carlisle, Bundaleur,

Aroona.

Loans to Agricultural Contractors.


Mr Scully y. - On the 26th July, the honorable member for Wimmera (Mr.

Turnbull) asked the following questions relating to loans to agricultural contractors for the purchase of equipment : - 1.What is the limit of the amount available ?

2.   What qualifications must the applicant , possess? 3.Have any of the loans been granted?

I am now able to supply the following answers : -

1.   No loans are made to agricultural contractors, but machinery is provided under hire purchase on easy terms to applicants recommended by the State Departments of Agriculture.

2.   The machinery provided is generally limited to one tractor, plus auxiliary equipment, but may vary from a small farm tractor outfit to a large land clearing tractor-bulldozer outfit.

3.   They need to be recommended by the State Departments of Agriculture and to be able to provide a mechanization service for:

(a)   Groups of small farms, whose individual cropoperations are toosmall for power mechanization,

(b)   rural districts generally in special work which it is not economical for farmers to do with power mechanization owned by themselves, such as in - (i) land clearing, (ii) pasture renovation, (iii) weed pest and plant disease control, (iv) land" drainage and water storage, (vi) soil erosion prevention in closer settled areas.

In all cases there has to be evidence that a group of farmers require this service.

5.   Yes.







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