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Tuesday, 6 August 1946

Mr SPEAKER (Hon J S Rosevear (DALLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - On the 19th and21st June respectively, the honorable members for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) and Griffith (Mr. Conelan) directed questions to me concerning the disposal of recordings of the proceedings of this House made during the testing period prior to the actual commencement of broadcasting. The matter was considered recently by the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings, which had before it notes on the technical aspects which I had obtained from the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the PostmasterGeneral's Department. . These early recordings were undertaken as an essential part of the technical procedure of adjusting the broadcasting equipment and training the staff. They naturally bear evidence of the process of adjustment, such as large variations in noise levels, and in many cases only disconnected fragments of the speeches were recorded. In the ordinary course these records would be destroyed, and the joint committee was of the opinion that this should be done. It was, however, suggested that records of the proceedings on the opening day of the broadcast from each House should be preserved for historical purposes, and the joint committee agreed that this was desirable and that the Parliamentary Library should be the custodian. It will not be possible to preserve the originals as these records, which are of the type normally used for recording broadcasts, are coated with a relatively soft compound to enable the records to be re-played directly without processing. Such records are not permanent and after a few months they become almost unintelligible. Accordingly, arrangements have been made for these records to be re-recorded on master plates which will be handed to the Parliamentary Library for safe keeping.

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