Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 26 May 1926

Senator FOLL (Queensland) . - I should not have spoken on the third reading of this bill but for certain statements made in the debate on Friday last concerning the quality of the product supplied by the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited in Australia, and for the purpose of directing attention to certain comments made in the Australian Motorist on the 1st April last. That publication, I understand, has a fairly large circulation in at least one of the States, and its rather scathing comments on the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited motor spirit, although they may be part of the propaganda of rival companies, call for an answer. The Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited has been doing business in Australia for some time in the face of the most hostile opposition, and, despite that opposition, is making headway. In the Australian Motorist on the date mentioned, there appeared analyses of the following motor spirits: - Plume, Mercury2 Shell, Powerin, C.O.R. (yellow label), C.O.R. (white label), and

C.O.R. (red label). The editorial comments on the analyses suggest deductions which, I am informed, are not justified by the figures, and I shall be glad if the Minister can give any further information on the subject. I am advised that' the comments were not made by the analysts, and, further, that they are not a fair deduction from the figures submitted.

Senator McLachlan - Were the analyses official?

Senator FOLL -They were made by a certain firm from samples supplied, but the comments were not made by the analysts. I understand that, immediately upon the publication of the article, the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited endeavoured to ascertain how the deductions were arrived at.

Senator McLachlan - Did the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited make check analyses ?

Senator FOLL - I am asking for that information now. The analyses. to which I am referring were not made by the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited, but by a private firm of analysts at the request, I understand, of certain persons connected with the journal in question. After obtaining those particulars this journal published, with big sub-headings, an article headed " Is the Commonwealth Oil Refineries playing fair with the public?" The statement was made that spirit was being sold by the refinery under three different labels, although it was all one grade of petrol. I desire to know exactly what investigations were made by the department at the time, because this article, which is very damaging, will do much harm if allowed to go unchallenged. Can the Minister throw any additional light on the matter ?

Suggest corrections