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Friday, 16 September 1949

Mr HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I draw the attention of the Prime Minister to the closing of Stockrington No. 1 colliery to-day because miners are on strike against an order of the local coal authority. Will the right honorable gentleman direct the miners' leaders to honour their undertaking to uphold the law, which they gave when purging their contempt of the Arbitration Court, and order the striking mine workers to respect the decisions of the coal authority and return to work? Is long-service leave 'to be suspended, under the terms of the recent award, in respect of miners now on strike at Stockrington No. 1 colliery? Is it a fact, as stated by a Joint Coal Board spokesman, that even if stoppages for the rest of the year are reduced to an absolute minimum, the New South Wales coal output will be the lowest since 1945 and underground coal production the lowest since 1936? Is it also a fact that, owing to low coal production, Australia is importing steel at prices ranging from two to three times as much as the price of Australian-made steel?

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