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Thursday, 11 October 1956

Mr LUCHETTI (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question to the Minister for Labour and National Service relates to the decision of the Minister for Defence Production to dismiss approximately 250 employees from the Commonwealth Small Arms Factory at Lithgow. Will the Minister take action to find employment in the Lithgow district for those workers who are to be retrenched? I point out to the Minister that the Lithgow area has already suffered severely because of the dismissals of mine workers and the retrenchment of workers in other industries. In view of the fact that the electrification of the western line is now tapering off and because of other great problems, I ask the Minister to apply himself especially to this problem, to confer with his colleagues to see if it is not possible to find further employment in the Commonwealth Small Arms Factory by the manufacture of commercial orders, and also to explore the probabilities of finding employment in the textile factories and the woollen mill by taking suitable action such as easing import restrictions and also providing orders for the woollen mill so that further employees may be engaged there.

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