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Thursday, 10 November 1938

Mr Wilson (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) n asked the Minister forthe Interior, upon notice -

1.   Has he, on behalf of the Government, refused to agree to assistance being given to companies engaged in the production of oil at Lakes Entrance, Victoria?

2.   Has he given as a reason that the companies engaged in production were not strong enough financially to proceed with the task'!

3.   Is it a fact that the production from Foster's bore and mid-west wells in Gippsland revealed higher tests than the daily average coming from Pennsylvania wells in the United States of America?

4.   What proportion of the Commonwealth grant for oil search has been spent in Gippsland?

5.   Has the department authorized the sealing of wells for the reason that pebbles might be dropped down them?

6.   If the wells are sufficiently good to warrant protection from pebbles, are they valuable enough to assist to economic production, in view of the fact that oil is essential to Australia's welfare and safety?

7.   What are the functions of the Commonwealth Oil Advisory Committee?

8.   Has this body refused to give technical advice to companies engaged in the production of oil?

9.   Who are the members of this committee and what are their qualifications?

10.   Have they had any practical experience in the production of oil, and, if so, what, when, where, and for what periods?

11.   In view of the fact that the drilling subsidy for the Imray Well at Lakes Entrance was stopped when the company struck oil, in what direction is the Government offering every encouragement in the search for oil?

12.   What is his reply to a recent statement by a State Premier that the Commonwealth has failed in its obligations towards oil production ?

13.   If an amendment of the Petroleum Oil Search Act is necessary to give effective assistance to oil companies, will he state why an amending bill has not been introduced?

14.   How much money has been spent on oil search in New Guinea and other fields?

Mr McEwen - Replies to the honorable member's questions will be furnished as soon as possible.

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