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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

The CHAIRMAN - Objection having been taken, the schedule will be considered in departments.

Remainder of proposed vote- The Parliament, £155,400 - agreed to.

Prime Minister's Department.

Proposed vote,£745,000.

Mr.RIORDAN (Kennedy) [12.56 a.m.]. - I take advantage of this opportunity to ask the Prime Minister (Mr.Curtin) to devote particular attention to the third interim report of the Commonwealth Man-power and Resources Survey Committee, which deals with the economic position of Queensland. The city of Cairns has a population of 15.000, and the hinterland a population of 50,000. Cairns possesses modern railway workshops and . well-equipped, privately-owned "workshops, which, if given the opportunity, could make a valuable industrial contribution to Australia's war effort. Unfortunately, the only work which has been allotted to that district is that of timber-cutting. The failure to utilize the industrial resources of the district is creating serious unemployment problems, liven in the sugar-cane cutting season, the unemployed in the district numbered between 400 and 500 persons, and as that avenue of employment will be closed for a period unemployment is becoming a serious problem there. Approximately 2,000 men from Cairns have enlisted in the fighting services, and thousands of others have travelled to the southern parts of the State in quest of work.

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