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Thursday, 10 June 1915


Mr FLEMING (Robertson) .- New Guinea, or Papua, as we generally know it, though now that we have taken over the whole area the Territory will probably revert to its old name, seems to be capable of development in several directions. I intend to speak to one only, and that is the question of producing oil. We know that one of the severest contests of the war is being waged in Galicia for the sole purpose of gaining control of the oil wells, and it seems that in New Guinea, or Papua, we have every possibility of obtaining a good supply of oil for the British Empire. If there is one thing of which the British Empire is decidedly short it is oil. We are all aware of the agreements that have been entered into with Russia and Persia, by which the Imperial authorities have obtained concessions to get oil in those countries; and if we can prove that there are good oil-bearing beds in New Guinea, and can make them productive, we shall be doing a great deal to assist in the prosecution of the war. For this reason i make these few brief remarks complementary to the question I placed on the business-paper this afternoon, in order to impress upon the Minister, if such a course be necessary, the extreme desirability and urgency of doing all that can be done in the direction of developing the oil resources of New Guinea.







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