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Tuesday, 9 September 1958
Page: 945

Dr EVATT (BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address a question to the Prime Minister in relation to the serious situation that has arisen in the New South Wales coal-fields, and particularly in the north coast district, due substantially to the mechanization of the mines. The number of unemployed in the coal-fields appears to have increased by more than 1,000 since the Prime Minister dealt with the matter previously. The towns in the coal-mining areas are adversely affected, and I submit to the Prime Minister that a matter which originally appeared to be a local problem has now become one of national concern. Will the right honorable gentleman inquire into the situation personally, as the Joint Coal Board is now conferring on this problem, to ascertain whether immediate action can be taken to solve the difficulty?

Mr Menzies - With the permission of the Leader of the Opposition, I shall ask the Minister for Labour and National Service to answer the question.

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