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Friday, 2 August 1946

Mr CHIFLEY - The shortage of coal and the consequent closing down of industries in South Australia have caused great anxiety to the Government. I confess to some surprise that in South Australia and in other States there was not some earlier tapering down of consumption in order to meet such an emergency as now exists. If that had been done sudden industrial stoppages would not have occurred because of the shortage of coal. I have asked the Minister for Supply and Shipping to look into the matter. I suppose it is a case now of spilt milk and nothing can be done but bail up another cow. I discussed the matter again this morning with the Minister. I understand that earlier shortages of coal in Adelaide were due not to lack of shipping, but to insufficient coal at the wharfs at Newcastle to fill such ships as were available. One or two ships left Newcastle partly laden. The Minister is hopeful that it will be possible to transport considerable quantities of coal to Adelaide next week in order to relieve the acute position that has arisen in industry there.

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