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Thursday, 30 April 1936

There are two known methods for the production of oil from coal. These are low temperature carbonization, and hydrogenation.

In connexion with the low temperature carbonization process, certain investigations are now -taking place. The Government will have something more to say on this when these investigations are complete.

With regard to the production of oil from coal by the hydrogenation process, approximately twelve months, or possibly longer, will elapse before Imperial Chemical Industries Limited will be in possession of sufficient experience of the working of the demonstrational unit at BillinghamonTees to determine whether it would be practical and desirable to establish a similar unit in Australia. The construction of such a unit would occupy some time, so nothing can be expected from this source of supply in the near future.

The Government regards the production of oil from coal as of such importance that it is determined to obtain the best first-hand scientific advice about it. Therefore, arrangements have been made for Sir David Rivett, Chief . Executive Officer of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, who is also chairman of the Commonwealth Hydrogenation Committee, a body representative of the Commonwealth and the States, to leave- Australia next month for the purpose of going closely into the processes now operating in England and Germany for the production of oil from coal by both hydrogenation and low temperature carbonization. Sir David Rivett is eminently fitted for this work.

While in England, Sir David will discuss with Imperial Chemical Industries Limited the whole subject of the establishment of a hydrogenation unit in Australia. This organization has promised its fullest co-operation.

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