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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Mr HOLT (FAWKNER, VICTORIA) - I ask the Prime Minister whether he has concluded his series of conferences with the representatives of the coal-mining industry? Was it not agreed that, while those conferences were being held, continuity of production would be maintained on the coal-fields? Has the right honorable gentleman been advised that the chairman of the Centra! Reference Board indicated that he would not deal with two disputes that were before him until the men returned to work, and that intervention by a State Minister was then obtained? In view of this apparent overriding of the authority of a Commonwealth tribunal, does the Prime Minister propose to take action? Has he any details of the number of mines, if any, that are idle to-day? If so, what are the causes of the stoppages ?

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