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Thursday, 4 May 1961


Mr JONES (Newcastle) .- I wish to raise a few matters in relation to the bill. Let me refer to profits. I have taken the trouble to ascertain how the long service leave fund has accumulated over the years. From a humble beginning - from nothing -the fund has grown to £2,109,298. Of that sum, £1,990,000 is invested in Commonwealth bonds and inscribed stock. I am concerned . to know the Government's policy in relation to the excise on coal. What will be the effect of reducing by Id. the excise duty on coal consumed in Australia and of completely removing the excise duty on coal exported? I would like to know, first, how the coal companies will benefit from the reduced excise duty. Will they pass on the reduction and reduce the cost of coal to consumers in Australia? During the second-reading stage the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) said that the coal industry was a poor field for investment because profits were low. I would like to know how the J. & A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited-


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honorable member for Newcastle is committing an offence similar to that committed a few minutes ago by the honorable member for Wilmot. His remarks are developing into a second-reading speech. He must confine his remarks to the clauses of the bill.


Mr JONES - I am concerned to know what will happen when the excise duty on coal is reduced. Will the Id. a ton go into the coffers of J. & A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited and help to swell that company's profits?


The CHAIRMAN - Order! I rule that the honorable member for Newcastle cannot continue along those lines. His remarks are out of order unless he confines them to the clauses of the bill.


Mr JONES - Am I entitled to refer to what will happen as a result of this reduc- lion in excise duty? What will happen to the Id. reduction? Will the Government ensure that the producers will reduce the cost of coal by Id. a ton, or are they to be permitted to continue on their merry way and make large profits? The J. & A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited made a substantial profit in 1958- 59. That company made a free bonus issue of one for four and at the same time increased its dividend rate from 8 per cent, to 10 per cent.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The matter referred to by the honorable member for Newcastle is not covered by any clause of the bill. I rule that the honorable member is out of order.


Mr JONES - I am sorry that you will not permit me to mention these matters. I now turn to exports. When the government of the day decided-


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honorable member for Newcastle is still attempting to make a second-reading speech. If he continues to speak in this manner, without dealing with the clauses of the bill, I will be forced to ask him to resume his seat.


Mr JONES - I do not propose to say anything further about the profits that obviously will be derived-


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honorable member for Newcastle will resume his seat.







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