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Thursday, 5 March 1942

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - -In the course of this discussion, no reflection has been cast upon the loyalty of the miners. The Leader of the Senate went to a great deal of trouble to explain why we should not waste coal. We are not discussing the wastage of coal; we are discussing the production of coal. The Minister for Trade and Customs also was at great pains to assure us that this regulation does not interfere with the powers of the Arbitration Court, but I am inclined to think that it does. It sets up a tribunal amongst the miners themselves. If the miners do not conform to the provisions of this regulation, the management committee can exercise authority over them. To ray mind, such action cuts right across arbitration awards. We on this side of the chamber desire only to bring about peace in the industry, and I feel sure that if this regulation were amended along the lines suggested, putting the miners under the same control as the mine-owners, the whole difficulty would be overcome.

SenatorFraser. - I desire to make a personal explanation. A few moments ago Senator James McLachlan misrepresented me. I should like to make it quite clear that I made no reference to South Australia having an ample supply of coal. I said that, although the stocks were higher now than at any time during the war, we were still not satisfied with the position in that State.

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