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Thursday, 7 November 1946

Mr CHIFLEY - It is true that the question of selecting a man of the highest capacity to fill the post of chairman of the Commonwealth Coal Board has been the subject of discussion between the Premier of New South Wales, on behalf of the Government of that State, and myself on behalf of the Commonwealth Government. It is also true that we have discussed the appointment with several very prominent men, not necessarily associated with the coal-mining industry. It is also true that, up to date, the men we have had in mind for this post have, foi' various reasons - not the one suggested by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition - not felt disposed to accept the position. The qualifications of other persons are now being examined. I regret that it has not yet been possible to induce a person of the highest capacity to accept the position. However, there is no lack of aspirants foi' the post. The Government is anxious to obtain the services of a most highly qualified man for this important position. In the case of the three men already approached we did not endeavour to induce them to accept; w© merely asked them whether they were prepared to accept the position. They offered no objection to acceptance of the post on the ground suggested by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The matter is still being pursued and all efforts are being made to obtain the service of the best man available.

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