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Thursday, 1 August 1946


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Barnard) - Order! I will not continue to direct the attentionof the Minister for Immigration to the fact that he is disorderly. I ask him to desist.


Mr ARCHIE CAMERON -I do not want to prolong the debate, but conditions in my State are so bad as the result of the lack of coal that I cannot refrain from saying something. I understand that four Commonwealth Ministers will visit South Australia during the election campaign. Whether South Australia has coal or not, they will receive a very warm reception. The less coal there is, the hotter their reception will be. The Ministry will have to do more than produce a bill to placate the people of South Australia. It will also need to do more than the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) did when he replied to the Leader of the Opposition that this was a long-range plan and that he was looking ten years ahead. In Adelaide the people are looking ten hours ahead. They are interested not in the contents of this bill, but when the next collier will reach Port Adelaide. People are not very interested in longrange plans for the coal industry when the employment of 20,000 people hinges on whether a colliercan make port through a gale. In concluding the debate on the bill in 1944, the late Mr. Curtin said that the bill would cut the Gordian knot of the coal industry. It did not do anything of the sort. In this bill, the Government has not produced the Alexander ofMacedon who can cut a Gordian knot of the coal industry. This bill will not be the weapon that will accomplish that very desirable operation. Having said that, I am prepared to allow the bill to go into committee.If I may give the Minister some advice, which I do not think he will take, it is this: If he has nothing better to say in reply than he had in introducing the bill, this is oneof the times when silence is golden.


Mr Dedman - I will take the honorable member's advice.







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