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Friday, 8 May 1942

Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) (Minister for Munitions) . - I assure those honorable members who have mentioned various subjects that their representations will be referred to the appropriate department for consideration. The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Wilson) drew attention to the hardships of wheat-farmers. The Government recognizes that the honorable member has first-hand knowledge of their problems, and will take steps to afford what relief is possible.

The honorable member for EdenMonaro (Mr. Perkins) referred to curtailed railway services, particularly on the south coast. This matter concerns primarily the State Government. I am sure that the honorable member must recognize that there is no desire to inconvenience the country people more than is necessary, but, at the same time, some interference with our normal way of life cannot be avoided. Very heavy demands are being made upon the railways for the transport of men and equipment. However, if it is possible to do anything to relieve the situation, it will be done.

Full consideration will be given to the representations of the honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Rankin) regarding supplies of oxygen and acetylene gas. During the last ten days I received many letters from honorable members on the subject, and every effort is now being made to overcome the shortage. I am confident that during the next month we shall be able to relieve the situation somewhat, and the position should improve steadily from this time forward. I thank the honorable member for having emphasized the importance of this matter.

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