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Wednesday, 30 June 1937

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - In the Government's slow march towards self-sufficiency and economic nationalism it undertook, some time ago, to make an. investigation into pelagic fishing, and to that end ordered a vessel to be constructed according to special plans imported from England. I should like to know if any of the money set aside for the purpose has yet been paid to the captain and crew of the vessel.

I have received a number of complaints of poor radio reception from people liv ing in north-west Queensland.I should like to know what progress has-been made with radio research particularly in relation to the elimination of static andthe overcoming of blind spots.

The bill provides for an expenditure of £840, on "research in connexion with the gold-mining industry". Does this sum cover payment to prospectors along the lines adopted by Queensland ?

Another item is " unforeseen and urgent investigations, £350," and under " miscellaneous " . a similar sum is set down. Last year I urged that some of this money should be expended on a scientific investigation of unemployment. In my opinion, an investigation along these lines is one of the most urgent matters confronting this country, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is the appropriate body to undertake the task. Better results would accrue from an investigation by a scientific body than are likely to be obtained from a committee consisting of a number of customs officers, trade union leaders, employers, and representatives of the Consumers' League, as was suggested by the Prime Minister some time ago. The scope of the activities of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research could well be broadened, and its officers shouldbe entrusted with investigations along the lines that I have suggested

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