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Thursday, 4 April 1946

Mr Chifley y. - On the 27th March, the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) asked the following questions, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that on the 26th February representatives of the Australian Overseas Transport Association approached the Minister for Supply and Shipping and intimated that efforts were being made to resuscitate that body and desired to know the Government's attitude towards the proposal?

2.   Has the Government undertaken to have the matter examined on the supply of certain further information, and to define at an early date its attitude towards the Association and, also, the extent, if any, to which Government participation, sponsorship or agreement is considered necessary?

3.   Will he supply the names of the representatives of the Association who conferred with the Minister for Supply and Shipping, and indicatewhat interests they represent and their business associations?

4.   Before the Government agrees to the resuscitation of this body, will he hear the views of certain primary producers, and, particularly, the Australian wool-growers, as to the desirability of its re-creation?

5.   Will he undertake, before the Government approves of its resuscitation, to permit the Parliament to debate the question?

6.   Will he ascertain from the interests concerned what is the connexion, if any, between the Australian Overseas Transport Association, the Oversea Shipping Representatives Association, and the London Tonnage Committee?

7.   Have any shipping lines recently approached the Oversea Shipping Representatives Association to join the Overseas Shipping Conference; if so, what reply did they receive ?

8.   Will, he have prepared a table of freights showing the freight rates operating in 1939 furthe principal primary products of the

Commonwealth exported from Australia and those operating to-day? !). Will lie also have prepared similar tables for like products from the Argentine Republic, New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa, for the same dates?

10.   Will he supplythe names of the various interests represented on the Australian Overseas Transport Association, the voting strength of such interests in the deliberations of such Association, and the name of the chairman?

Answersto questions Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and7 have already been supplied to the honorable member.

Replies to the remaining questions are as follows : -

11.   The constitution of Australian Overseas Transport Association provides for State committees of exporting, producing and importing interests, nominated by the interests concerned, for State committees of the overseas shipowners' representatives and for State joint committees consisting of them both. The constitution also provides for an Australian Council, consisting of a president and not more than 25 members of various exporting, importing and producing interests and an equal number of representatives of the Overseas Shipping Representatives' Association. The connexions between Overseas Shipping Representatives' Association and Australian Overseas Transport Association will thus be clear. The Overseas Shipping Representatives' Association consists of representatives in Australia of overseas shipowners, the latter being members of the London Tonnage Committee.

8.   The rates of freight on principal primary products in 1939 as compared with those operating to-day are as under: -


9.   This information is not available.

10.   The Chairman of Australian Overseas Transport Association is Sir Frederick Tout, The representation of the interests on the Council, which isthe chief executive body, is as under: - Two representing wool-growing interests, two representing meat-growing interests, two representing meat exporters associations, two representing dairy produce hoard, two representing fruit shippers' associations, two representing egg shippers' asso ciations, two representing wool buyers' associations, two appointed by Associated Chambers of Commerce, together with an equal number of representatives of Overseas Shipping Representatives Association. The constitution of. Australian Overseas Transport" Association provides that no resolution of the Council shall be carried except by a majority" of members of each group.

English Brides of ex- Servicemen.

Mr CHIFLEY (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yesterday, the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) asked a. question regarding press references to the possibility of English brides of Australian exservicemen being brought to Australia on board British naval vessels.

I am now in a position to advise the honorable member that a cable has been received from the Resident Minister in London to the effect that he has been able to arrange accommodation for 130 servicemen's dependants on the carrier Indefatigable, due to sail about the 24th April.

Broadcasting : Short-wave Service.

Mr.White asked the Prime Minister, upon no tice -

In view of the recommendation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission that shortwave broadcasting should again becomethe responsibility of the commission, will restoration of the service to the commission and its removal from the Department of Information be considered by the Government in the near future?

Mr Chifley y. - The Government has no intention of transferring the control of short-wave broadcasting from the Department of Information to the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

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