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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator KINGSMILL (Western Australia) . - The most important recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee was that oil shale deposits in Australia should, if possible, be treated as they are in America. Even at the present high prices charged for American and foreign petrol, shale oil cannot be extracted at a price which will enable it to compete successfully with flow oil. For the future safety of Australia it is therefore deemed essential that no such competition should be entered into; but that the oil shale deposits in Australia should be conserved for use in times of emergency, as is being done in America. That country, which is wonderfully rich in petroleum products, possesses millions of pounds' worth of flow oil, and has also large tracts of country carrying deposits of oil shale which are jealously conserved by the American Government in case the supply of flow oil should become exhausted.

Senator Ogden - Petroleum is much . cheaper in America than in Australia.

Senator KINGSMILL - Yes, the extraction of oil from shale, and the" production and carriage of flow oil are also cheaper in that country, but the American authorities have found it necessary to pursue the policy I have mentioned. If that is the case, it is of greater urgency that Australia, which up to the present has not any flow oil, should conserve its oil shale deposits against emergencies which may arise, and when supplies of flow oil may be cut off. I sincerely trust that the committee mentioned by the Minister may he influenced to some little degree by the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee.

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