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Friday, 22 May 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) . - I am sorry that I shall be obliged to adopt an attitude towards this measure similar to that of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings). I sincerely regret that we shall not be given an opportunity to discuss at length this bill, which is of outstanding importance to the Commonwealth. I shall, therefore, reserve my remarks on the problem of oil production in Australia till some future occasion when the Senate is dealing with an allied subject. I believe that, not only the finding of natural oil, but also the production of synthetic oil and petrol, which is being successfully carried on in other countries, is essential to our future prosperity. It is high time that we established in Australia, even at as high a cost as £10,000,000, a plant for the production of oil from coal or shale, because in these days oil is most essential for defence purposes.

SenatorFOLL (Queensland) [7.49].- Is it the intention ' of the Government to take any steps to encourage the production of power alcohol? I understand that, in the face of serious obstacles, a factory for this purpose has already been erected in Queensland. This industry is firmly established in some European countries. I desire to hear from the Minister whether or not it is the intention of the Government to encourage this industry in any way; for instance, by exempting power alcohol from excise duty.

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