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Thursday, 1 August 1946

Mr HARRISON (Wentworth) (2:30 AM) .- I can foresee many anomalies arising under the definition set out in the hill. If, as the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. James) has said, the bill is to enable the Government to control all derivatives "of coal, >and the Government proposes to set up a plant for the extraction of -oil from coal, and to control all such by-products, why does not the Government frankly state its intention? If the Government persists with this definition, the proposed board may control the manufacture by private companies of coke for their own purposes. By this means, the Government will obtain a stranglehold .upon any industry to which it may turn its attention, such as industries requiring to use derivatives of coal, including the manufacture of medicines, clothing, plastics, dyes and explosives. Under the bill, the Government will be given control over all by-products of coal which are .the lifeblood of new industries now being established in this country. This provision will give rise to a fear complex in the minds of those who contemplate establishing new industries. If the Government intend to control only the derivatives of coal, which may be produced when it embarks upon the production of oil from coal, it should clearly say so.

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