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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) (11:58 AM) . - I congratulate the Postmaster-General on the Bill, as it is one with which we all agree. In travelling through the country districts, I have often wondered why the Postal Department did not use shorter poles and every available means to carry the telegraph wires, and thus cheapen the telephonic services in country districts. I am surprised to know that there will be a saving of £1 on each pole erected.

Mr Gibson - That is the estimate of the engineer.

Mr CHARLTON - I do not doubt the figure. It is a large saving when one considers the number of poles erected for every 100 miles. We are borrowing money to meet the requests for telephonic facilities, and the shorter poles will greatly cheapen the work. A saving of £20 per mile will mean a great, deal to the country people. At one time I represented a country district, and I have a knowledge of the heavy expenditure incurred and the difficulties experienced in obtaining telegraph lines, and in many cases those people who were to benefit were required to pay a portion of the cost of erection.

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