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Thursday, 14 May 1942

Senator COLLINGS (QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Interior) - I regret that the Leader of the Opposition has mixed up with a perfectly proper question remarks which are merely an expression of his own opinion. On matters that are of such a nature that they require consideration in this chamber I shall always see that an opportunity is afforded to repeat in the Senate any statement made by the Prime Minister in the House of Representatives. The statement made by the Prime Minister yesterday regarding the coal-mining industry was of such great importance that it was made by the appropriate Minister at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place. In my opinion, there is not the slightest reason why the statement should be repeated in the Senate. I have not asked for the Prime Minister's statement and I do not intend to do so.

Senator McLEAY - Will the Leader of the Senate state how the Government reconciles the statement made by the Prime Minister yesterday, that the restrictions under Statutory Rule No. 168 will be imposed upon the coal-miners on strike unless theyreturn to work immediately, with the fact that the Minister for Labour and National Service called a compulsory conference of mine-owners and miners for 11 a.m. to-day?

Senator COLLINGS - The Government has not attempted at any time to reconcile any statement made by the Prime Minister, because it knows before such statements are made that they are about to be made, and there is no need for any reconciliation.

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