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Thursday, 11 May 1939

Mr JAMES - In the absence of the Postmaster-General, I ask the Prime Minister whether it is a fact that the specifications for the new general post office building in Sydney provided for coal-burning boilers for power and central heating, and that the Director of Posts and Telegraphs, Sir Harry Brown, cancelled those specifications and instructed that oil-burning boilers be installed in their place? Is the right honorable gentleman aware that seven large concerns, including the New South Wales Public Works Department, Farmer and Company Limited, Hotel Australia Limited, and Tillock and Company Limited, who did have oil-burning boilers for power and heating, have converted them to coal-burning boilers owing to the fact that, with the use of automatic stokers coal is 50 per cent. cheaper than oil?

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