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Friday, 1 July 1949

Mr DEDMAN - The Government has very little control over the allocation of materials generally, and such power as it has is about to cease because the Prime Minister has written to the Premiers and informed them that, in view of the decisions of the High Court in relation to certain other matters, it is very doubtful whether the Commonwealth has any power to allocate materials to the States or the Northern Territory. Until very recently, at any rate, the Commonwealth allocated certain materials to the States and the Northern Territory upon, a. basis agreed upon with the States. If a manufacturer consigns any of his products to Mount Isa through Darwin, the Australian Government has no power to prevent him from doing so. If the materials mentioned by the honorable member should not have been sent to Mount Isa, the matter ought to he taken up with the Queensland Government. One presumes that materials that are sent to Mount Isa via Darwin are part of Queensland's allocation of materials of that kind. Consequently, this Government has no power to interfere in the matter.

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