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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Senator COLLINGS (QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Interior) . - inreply - The comments of honorable senators will be referred to the appropriate Ministers, and where they have asked for information it will be supplied to them. I assure Senator Allan MacDonald that the matter to which he has referred, concerning the trans-Australian railway, is continually under the closest observation. It would be unwise for me to go into details; but when he next travels over the line he will appreciate the extent of the operations that arc being conducted there. The subject of post-war planning, referred to by Senator Arnold, is most important. The Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) already has the matter in hand, and certain action will be taken, supplemented probably by further action. In March last, Senator A. J. McLachlan urged upon the Government the advisability of issuing a precis of the contents and effect of the numerous regulations that have been promulgated under the National Security Act. On the 6th May last, I stated in this chamber that the Attorney-General's Department had had the matter under serious considera tion and was then issuing to the press a condensed statement indicating the trend of the regulations and their relation to one another. I understand from the honorable senator that the statements issued to the newspapers are not regarded by those controlling them as having much news value. He desires that they shall be distributed throughout the country districts. I hope that at an early date action that will be more satisfactory to him will have been taken. The probable date of the resumption of the sittings of this Parliament cannot be stated more definitely than that it will meet again early in August.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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