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Wednesday, 26 June 1946

Mr DEDMAN - A Committee appointed by the Department of Supply and Shipping, and presided over by the Coal Commissioner, controls the allocation of coal to the various States. . All the factors relating to the consumption of coal are taken into consideration by that committee in making the allocation.

Mr Holt - Do the State governments then decide what shall be done with the coal ?

Mr DEDMAN - The State governments decide how the coal shall he distributed within the State. The Coal Commissioner has an officer in each State who works in close co-operation with the State governments. For the information of the honorable member, I may say that the proportion of coal going to Victoria is a little more than was the case during the ..'. Victoria is certainly not getting any less than it got during the war.

Mr HOLT (FAWKNER, VICTORIA) - But is there a balanced distribution for industrial and domestic uses ?

Mr DEDMAN - The advice of ' the State governments is obtained before an allocation is made. I believe that the prospects of mo-re .coal being obtained in Victoria are at present fairly good. Ships are on the way with coal, .and rationing would have been unnecessary in Victoria recently but for the fact that colliers were delayed by storms at sea. As for the possibility of importing coal, I have no information; but I -shall ask my colleague, the Minister for Supply and Shipping, to look into the matter.

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