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Tuesday, 18 October 1949

Mr EDMONDS (HERBERT, QUEENSLAND) - I direct the attention of the Prime Minister to the following telegram that I have received from Mr. McGinn, secretary of the Canegrowers Executive at Mackay, in Queensland : -

Many growers this area have ceased carting operations due to petrol shortage which in turn compels such growers discontinue harvesting operations for time being. Local supplies exhausted. Request you endeavour arrange additional supplies this area immediately enabling harvesting operations continue. Number of contract cane-carters in similar position and burnt cane lying on ground unable to be carted.

Will the Prime Minister inform me whether the Commonwealth has any authority over the distribution of petrol, or whether the recent decision of the High Court on the invalidity of petrol rationing has deprived it of that power?

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