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Friday, 2 August 1946

Mr HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is it a fact that shortage of coal is severely restricting production of caustic alkalis, and that makers of this commodity may have to cease its production? .Is it also a fact that manufacturers of soap, textiles, chemicals and paper, as well as persons engaged in the pastoral industry, and the foundation' of new industries are largely dependent upon caustic alkalis, and that these industries are already adversely affected by the restricted output?

What measures, if any, will be taken to ensure supplies of this necessary commodity to the industries dependent upon them? Is the Prime Minister aware that the secretary of the Amalgamated Road Transport Workers Union has warned the New South Wales Trades and Labour Council that thousands of workers- in the State may soon lose their jobs because the coal shortage is bringing transport to a standstill, and that home-building and general construction is likely to stop completely because millions of feet of timber and other supplies cannot be transported? Have power and gas restrictions been imposed in Melbourne and Adelaide? If so, will he direct all- coal-miners to man the mines so that sufficient coal may be available for industry and transport at least during the passage of the "new deal " coal legislation?

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