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Thursday, 6 May 1920

Mr RICHARD FOSTER - I do not think this is the first occasion on which the honorable member for Yarra has raised this question, and, inferentially, cast a reflection on a State that has always been extremely honorable, and an example to others. The mechanical coalhandling appliance at Port Pirie is not perfect, because it should have been electrically controlled. At the time of its installation, it was impossible to obtain the necessary electrical plant, so it had to be an improvized plant, or, in other words, constructed out of a scrap-heap. The installation of the plant was a matter of vital interest to the Commonwealth Government, as well as an advantage to' Port Pirie, because in the absence of such a plant the Broken Hill Proprietary Company could not have supplied the Imperial authorities with lead for war purposes. That statement has been made deliberately.

Mr JAMES PAGE (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - And South Australia took advantage of the situation.

Mr RICHARD FOSTER - I do not think South Australia desires to take any advantage. It is a pity that this great city does not benefit by the experience of Port Pirie, and erect a modern mechanical plant to handle its coal requirements on an economical and effective basis.

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