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Tuesday, 25 October 1949


Mr HOLT (FAWKNER, VICTORIA) - As after the dissolution of this Parliament it will not he practicable for any legislation to be passed for some months, I ask the Prime Minister whether he does not consider that, in view of the possibility of serious trouble arising on the coal-fields of New South Wales, the Government should introduce legislation, before the Parliament is dissolved, containing disciplinary powers which would enable the Government to deal with any hold-up in the coal industry? I made a similar suggestion to the right honorable gentleman last week in the course of a lengthy question, but he overlooked it in the course of his reply.


Mr CHIFLEY - I apologize if I failed to answer all the questions that the honorable member asked last week in relation to this subject. When a. series of questions is asked, it is difficult to remember and answer all the points raised.


Mr Holt - I am not being critical of the right honorable gentleman.


Mr CHIFLEY - I hope that the honorable member does not think that I attempted to evade the issue.


Mr Holt - I do not suggest that.


Mr CHIFLEY - Following on the question asked by the honorable gentleman last week, I discussed the matter with the Attorney-General, who assured me that, in his view, the powers contained in legislation which is already on the statute-book are sufficient to deal with any disputes that may arise. We hope, of course, that it will not 'be necessary to invoke those powers. The AttorneyGeneral informed me that in his opinion no further legislation is necessary. e







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