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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr STOKES (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) - Is the Minister for External Affairs, in his capacity as Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, aware that a commercial detergent known under the trade name of Tepol increases the wetting properties of water to a marked degree, and is most advantageous in fire fighting, but that it has the disadvantage of being likely to corrode iron tanks and render the water in them unsuitable for human consumption? Has he been informed that recently the company responsible for its production has produced in limited quantities a new chemical which overcomes the two disadvantages that I have mentioned, although one pint of this new chemical will still double, for fire fighting, the efficiency of 1.000 gallons of water? If the Minister is not aware of these facts, will he make inquiries concerning them, with a view to having the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization assist in the manufacture of this chemical and ensure its wide distribution in country and sparsely settled areas, so that fire fighters in those areas will have a much better chance of overcoming our great enemy, the bush fire?

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