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Wednesday, 29 April 1942


Senator COLLINGS (QueenslandMinister for the Interior) . - in reply - On the 26th March, 1942, Senator Collett asked the following questions, upon notice -

1.   In view of recent press statements of a nature disturbing to the gold-mining communities of Western Australia, will the Government make an early announcement in respect of its policy concerning the immediate future of the gold-mining industry?

2.   What was the nature of the mission entrusted to Mr. H. V. Johnson, the member for Kalgoorlie, in the fulfilment of which he was recently engaged in touring the Western Australian gold-fields?

The Prime Minister has furnished the following answers : -

1.   The Government is now considering the question of the extent to which the gold-mining industry in Western Australia will have to contribute to the man-power requirements for war purposes, and an announcement regarding same will be made in due course.

2.   Mr. H.V. Johnson, the member for Kalgoorlie, in his recent tour of the Western Australian gold-fields, did so as the Federal member for that electorate.

On the 26th March, 1942, Senator Allan. MacDonald asked the following questions, upon notice -

1   . Is it a fact that the Government deputed the member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. H. V. Johnson. M.P.) to proceed from Canberra to various parts of the Western Australian gold-fields and there to break the news to the different parties vitally affected by the success of the gold-mining industry, that it is the intention of the Government to take man-power action which will mean the cessation of gold production ?

2.   Did the Government give Mr. Johnson hisinstructions in writing. If not, why not?

3.   What facilities, and the cost of same, were made available to Mr. Johnson to enable him to visit the various gold-fields areas fertile purpose aforesaid?

The Prime Minister has furnished the following reply: -

Mr. H.V. Johnson, the honorable member for Kalgoorlie, in his recent tour of the Western Australian gold-fields, did so as the Federal member for that electorate.

On the 26th March, 1942, Senator McLeay asked the following questions, upon notice -

In view of the Prime Minister's statement early in January that the Government would be traitorous to Australia if it' tolerated stoppages in the production of coal, and the subsequent regulations promulgated to deal with such contingencies, will the Minister inform the Senate -

1.   Whether any action has been taken against offenders as provided in sub-regulation ( 1 ) of Regulation 27b of the National Security (Coal Control) Regulations?

2.   Whether the' duly constituted Committee of Management of any organization of employees in the coal-mining industry has at any stage (and, if so, when) directed any of its members, as provided for in sub-regulation (1) of Regulation 27b of the Coal Control Regulations?

3.   If the answer to 2 is in the affirmative, has the Union Committee used the power of expulsion from membership as provided in sub-regulation (2) of Regulation 27b? If this is answered in the affirmative, how many expulsions have been made?

4.   Has the Government taken any action, or is any action contemplated, as provided by Regulation 27c, which gives the Coal Commis- sion power to direct that in the case of offenders, exemption from military training be withdrawn 1

The Prime Minister has furnished the following answers: -

1.   No. Notices were served in several cases.

2.   Yes - in connexion with strikes at " Maitland Main " on 9th February, 1942. and at "Coal Cliff" on 23rd February, 1942.

3.   No - but in two cases fines have been imposed on members by lodges or districts of the federation.

4.   No such action has been taken but action under Statutory Rule 77 of 1942 has been taken in several cases.

Question resolved in the affirmative.







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