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Friday, 18 September 1942

Mr BECK (Denison) .- Last Thursday I asked the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) a question without notice in relation to the man-power position in

Tasmania. The right honorable gentleman requested rue to place it on the notice-paper. I did so, and on Friday last J. received a reply to the effect that inquiries were being made and a reply would be furnished to me as early as possible. Only a few weeks ago an honorable senator published in the Hobart Mercury a report of a consultation he had had with the Prime Minister on this subject. He pointed out that the Prime Minister had said that action had been taken to stop the recruitment of labour in the direction indicated. If it was possible for the honorable senator to obtain an answer from the Prime Minister and to publish a report on the subject in a Tasmanian newspaper a fortnight ago, why has it not been possible for the right honorable gentleman to give me a reply to a question which I placed on the notice-paper a week ago? I appreciate the fact that the Prime Minister is very busy, and ! have no desire to hinder him in any way whatever; but as an honorable senator and a member of his own political party could obtain a reply to a question on this subject, I wish to know why I have not been able to get one.

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