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Friday, 21 October 1949

Mr CHIFLEY (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - It is true, as the honorable member has said, that the trouble in regard to the petrol shortage is in respect of refined petrol, and not in respect of crude oil. As I intimated yesterday, it is the desire of the United kingdom Government and the governments of the other Dominions to develop oil-refining capacity within the sterling area so that dollars will not have to be found to such a degree as at present for the purchase of refined petrol. Regarding the other matters that the honorable member mentioned, my information is that inquiries and proposals have been made regarding the project in Tasmania. What the Commonwealth has done in such instances is to give what encouragement, advice and assistance it can without itself becoming' directly financially interested. Whenever possible, through the medium of government departments and the Division of Industrial Development, we assist companies that are in a position to undertake such work.

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