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Friday, 27 November 1959

Mr GRIFFITHS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Prime Minister: Is the administration of the Joint Coal Board equally a Commonwealth and State responsibility? If so, is it true that recently the Commonwealth Government, without consulting with its partner, set up an expert committee to inquire into the future uses for coal and the development of the industry generally? Is it true also that the Commonwealth Government refuses to cooperate with the New South Wales Government in such matters? Is it a fact that twice this year the late Mr. Cahill wrote to the right honorable gentleman offering the services of two of his best officers, and that up to the present the right honorable gentleman has completely ignored those representations? If these are facts, will the Prime Minister indicate whether he views seriously recent statements by Government scientists, such as Professor Oliphant and others, that there is an urgent need in Australia to develop all known uses for coal? Does the Prime Minister propose to accept the New South Wales Government's offer, or does he propose to answer the representations in due course?

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