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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) (Minister for the Interior) . - I. feel that I have good reason to say something on this matter because recently. Western Australian newspapers stated that I, in my capacity as Minister for the Interior, had declared that it was the policy of the Government to shut- down on the gold-mining industry. When i hat statement appeared, I immediately took steps to find out who was responsible for it, and when the source of the report was traced, it was found that there was no basis for it. In this connexion, I pay a tribute to the fairness of the Western Australian newspaper concerned, which when the error was pointed out, magnanimously withdrew the statement.

Although I should hesitate to suggest that any honorable senator should not take advantage of the Standing Orders in order to move the adjournment of the Senate as Senator Allan MacDonald has done to-day, I do say that when it is known throughout the Commonwealth that we spent this afternoon discussing a motion for the adjournment of the Senate, the prestige of this chamber will not be enhanced. I am confident that our Allies, who are giving to us such willing and wonderful help, will be astounded to know that in a time of national crisis, when we do not know at what moment bombs may fall on our cities, we can take things so calmly, and fritter away our time on a subject such as that which has occupied us to-day.

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