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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr Francis s asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   With reference to the decision to discontinue employment in the public service df civilians temporarily appointed in war-time. isit a fact that there is stilla number of officers employed by the Department of Works and Housing,Brisbane, who come under this category?

2.   If so,isit a fact that thereare many efficientex-servicemen available to replace them?

3.   Willthe Government take Immediate steps to correct this position!

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

1.   Then is alarge number of temporary employeesin the Department of Works and Housing. 2 and 3. The Department of Works und Housing is observing all the provisions of theRe-establishmentand Employment Act, No. 11 of 1945. unemploymentallowances .

Mr Francis s asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services, upon notice - 1, How many personsin Queensland have received unemployment allowance to the 31st July, 1940, arising out of the Brisbane meat strike and the strikesinvolved therewith in the coal-mining industry and of the waterside workers? .

2.   How much was paid to such persons?

Mr Holloway - The Minister for Social Serviceshas supplied the following answers:-

1.   Withouta complete dissection of the individualfiles of the beneficiaries concerned, itis impossibleto give exact information regarding the number of persons who received unemployment benefit asa consequence of the Brisbane meat strike and other strikes involved therewith butthe approximate number is 12,300.

2.   The approximate value of the benefits paid to such personsup toandincluding the week ended27th July. 1946, was£33,100


Mr Archie Cameron n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   How many pounds worth of treasury- bills werein circulation on the30th June, 1946?

2.   What washeld by thenine trading banks? mr.chifley. - The answersto the honorable member's questions are as follows:

1.   The treasury-bills issued for war purposesand circulationinAustraliaatthe30th June, 1946. amounted to £343,280,000.

2.   £33,620,000.


Mr Chifley - On the 18th July, the honorable member for Maranoa (Mr. Adermann) asked whether I had received a request from the Government of Queensland soliciting assistance to primary producers, in southern Queensland in eather the dairying or the grazing industries, and if not, whether I would indicate my attitude to the request for subsidy made to me by the Mundubbera Shire Council on behalf of dairymen in tha; district.

The Minister for Trade and Custome has advisedme that there is no record of any such request in the office of the Prices Branch but that atan early date a case will be submitted to the Prices Stabilization Committee concerning the payment ofsubsidy to producers ofwhole milk in a large number of southern Queensland districts. The Shire of Munduberra is included is the areas at present under consideration.


Mr Chifley y. - Yesterday, the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Bernard Corser) asked whether consideration would be given to the use ofRoyal Australias. Air Force and military huts in Queensland for housing purposes.

Steps have already been taken in the direction indicated. Nearly 100 buildings at Kalinga and Rocklea have been converted orare course of conversion, and 118 families have already been accommodated. More families willbe accommodated, as the work of reconversion, particularly at Rocklea, proceeds. In addition, Ekibin army hospital has been used as emergency quarters. The policy of the Commonwealth Government is to giveall State governments tha opportunity to use former service establishments for housing purposes as they become surplus to requirements. butterrationing.

Mr FORDE (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Army) - On the 1stAugust the honorable member for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) asked a question concerning butter rationing in relation to exservicemen desirous of establishing themselves in businesses. The Minister for Trade and Customs has now supplied the following information: -

1.   Itis not a fact that ex-servicemen are receiving little or no consideration for coupons from the Rationing Commission. Every consideration is given to applicationsby ex- servicemen who are desirous of establishing themselves in cafes and other food supply services. Instructions to Deputy Directors of Rationing allow them to give permits for rationed foodstuffs to ex-servicemen . wishing to re-establish themselves if they were in that line of business prior to enlistment. In other cases the instructions provide that no exserviceman's application is to be finally refused without reference to the commission, the members of which give personal consideration to each such case. It must be apparent, however, that while the necessity for food rationing continues it is impracticable to grant generally, applications received from persons who were not previously in the catering trades. All permits given to cafes, &c., represent additional consumption of rationed foodstuffs beyond the individual ration, and, if unrestricted, could noon dissipate the savings being made by rationing in order to make foodstuffs available to the sorely pressed people of Britain. Publicity is continually being given to the necessity for ex-servicemen not to incur any expense in connexion with a proposed cafe or catering business until their application for coupon permits has been approved.

2.   In common with all other cafes and restaurants in Australia, butter permits issued to Prince's and Romano's representa considerable reduction of pre-war usage. One of the restaurants mentioned has been cut to approximately one-half of its pre-rationing usageof butter. . Theother, which formerly used an unusually large amount of butter, receives only 23.6 per cent. of the pre-rationing amount.

3.   With regard to the honorable member's request that an equitable distribution be arranged to essentialcafés to be run by exservicemen, this, is already done, as explained inNo. 1 above.

Canned Fish.

Mr Scully y. - On. the 31st July, the honorable member for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) asked a question concerning the importation of salmon from Canada. As this matter is under the jurisdiction of the Minister for Trade and Customs, I have conferred with that Minister and now inform the honorable member as follows : -

The Minister for Trade and Customs has no knowledge of any advices which may have been given by Canadian exporters to the trade in Australia, but he confirms that cannedfish, in common with most other important food items, is subject to international allocation and only such quantities as are allocated may be supplied to Australia. Late in. June, 1946, Australia was informed by the London Food

Council of an allotment to Australia, which, being very limited, involved the determination of a quota for each importer. Details have now been completed and import licences are being issued.

Cigarette Papers.

Mr Forde e. - Yesterday, the honorable member for Martin (Mr. Daly) asked a question regarding press statements that 500,000 hooks, each containing 60 cigarette papers, are held in bond in Sydney.

The Minister for Trade and Customs has now supplied the following information : -

An investigation of this matter has been made and there are 402,000 books, each containing60 papers, in a bond store in Sydney, which areheld on behalf of one of the merchants. The mannger of this company hat informed the Department of Trade and Customs that the stocks are those from which supplies of papers for Australian soldiers in Kure, Japan, are cleared. The residue act as a reserve in case there is any interruption in the flow pf supplies from the cigarette paper manufacturers in Melbourne. On the existing basis of distribution, the stocks held represent only seven to ten days' requirements of New South Wales consumers.

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