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Tuesday, 22 September 1942

Mr FRANCIS (Moreton) . - I support what was said by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) about the multiplicity of controls of planning for the post-war period. A clearly defined policy should, be laid down by the Government in regard to post-war reconstruction, and the vagueness which characterizes the ministerial direction of this matter should be dispelled. The Australasian Manufacturer contains an article from which the following is an extract : -

Is not the hour long overdue for the Prime Minister, speaking for the whole of Australia, definitely and finally to say what is to be done - and who is to be responsible for the doing of it?

Until there is a speedy termination of the present confusing overlapping of the functions of the multitudinous war departments - the Department of Munitions, the Department of Supply, the Department of Labour, the Department of War Organization of

Industry, the Department of Aircraft Production - the industrialists of Australia must inevitably be impeded in fulfilling the one task to which they desire to give their wholehearted energies - the task of efficient wartime production.

The chaos to which that article refers is indicative of the disinclination of the Government to grapple with the major problem that will arise when hostilities cease. Nothing should be left to chance or to direction by already overworked Ministers. I appeal to the Government to give serious consideration to this matter. If it considers that it needs help I shall be willing to assist it in whatever way I can.

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