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Tuesday, 5 July 1949

Mr CHIFLEY (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - It has been the practice during coal shortages or break downs of coal-fired electricity generating plants for the Minister for Shipping and Fuel to endeavour to provide sufficient fuel oil to operate auxiliary generating plants with a view to minimizing unemployment in industry. That was done with complete satisfaction in Western Australia some time ago when a general instruction about the uae of fuel oil was issued. However, the Commonwealth has not now the control over oil supplies that it had in those days. The Premier of South Australia has approached me on this matter. I have already discussed it with the Minister for Shipping and Fuel in respect of New South Wales, where the situation is probably more difficult than it is in South Australia. I have arranged with the Minister for the Wavy for the release of 20,000 tons of fuel oil, and import licences for a further 20,000 tons have been issued. The Commonwealth will do everything possible in this direction to prevent unnecessary unemployment.

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