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Wednesday, 17 December 1941

Mr MORGAN - Is the Prime Minister aware that war production is being retarded in New South Wales because the Board of Area Management in Sydney, consisting of Sir Philip Goldfinch as chairman and other men of ability and experience, is unable to authorize the payment of accounts exceeding £2,000 in connexion with war contracts? Payments beyond that amount have to be authorized in Melbourne by the Director ofFi nance, who on many occasions delays the matter by from six weeks to two months. This restricts the operations of war contractors, because they have to pay cash for the raw materials that they obtain from the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited and other concerns. Has the honorable gentleman seen the report and recommendation of the Joint Committee on War Expenditure in connexion with this matter? If so, will he consider enlarging the authority of the Sydney Board of Area Management, and authorizing progress payments to the smaller contractors in order that they may be enabled to make prompt payment in respect of wages and raw materials?

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