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Tuesday, 8 November 1938

Mr Lyons s. - On the 4th November, the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Pollard) asked the following questions, upon notice: -

1.   What are the names of the persons who comprised the 1937 tariff delegation to New Zealand, and what offices did they hold in the department ?

2.   Upon what dates did the Minister and each of the officials respectively leave Australia and return to Australia?

I am now in a position to furnish the following answers : - 1.The Hon. T. W. White, Minister for Trade and Customs; E. McCarthy. Assistant Secretary (Marketing), Department of Commerce;J. Fletcher, Assistant Treaties Officer. Department of Trade and Customs; Mrs. F. M. Grant. Private Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Customs.

2.   The Minister left Australia on the 10th December, 1937, and returned to Australia on the 10th January.1938. Messrs. McCarthy andFletcher and Mrs. Grant left Australia on the10th December, 1937, and returned to Australia on the 7th January, 1938.

Housing for Postal Employees on Trans-Continental Railway Line.

Mr Archie Cameron - On the 20 th October, the honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Drakeford) asked the following questions, upon notice -

1.   What Government authority is responsible for the design, construction and cost of the houses provided at places on the transcontinental railway line for persons employed by the Postmaster-General's Department?

2.   At what places have houses been provided, and what is the number at each place?

3.   What is the accommodation inand the cost of the houses at each place?

4.   What is the amount payable for each of those houses for (a) rent, (b) water,(c) sanitation, and (d) other charges?

5.   On what basis are (a) rent, and (b) other charges, fixed?

I am now in a position to furnish the honorable member with the following answers to his inquiries: -

1.   The Department of the Interior carries out such works at the request of the post office.

2.   Cook, 3; Tarcoola, 2;Rawlinna, 2.

3.   Four rooms and kitchen. Open verandahs on three sides, closed verandah at back. Small storeroom and washhouse (with copper and troughs) in whicha bath is also installed. The aggregate cost of the cottages at Cook. Tarcoola, andRawlinna was £4,110, £2,320, and £2,808 respectively. 4 and5. It is the usual practice to charge rent on the basis of 10 per cent. of the minimum salary of the officer occupying the premises, which covers all other charges. At Rawlinna.a married officer is charged £31 per annum and at Cook £34 per annum. The other cottages are not fully occupied at present until permanent appointments can be made to vacancies when the results of examinations are known. Vacant positions are lining filled temporarily by single men who are using rooms at the cottages, and are being charged the rental as for barrack accommodation at £5 per annum. This rental is also charged to a permanent supervisor, whose wife is in Perth, and who occupies one room in a cottage at Rawlinna pending his retirement shortly.

Cattle Tick.

Mr Forde e asked the Minister for

Health, upon notice -

1.   What is the estimated cost to the dairying and cattle industry throughout Australia of the tick pest?

2.   What amount is spent annually by the Government in research work in connexion with the tick pest or in the. eradication of the pest, and how much has been spent in each of the States?

3.   Whatis being done at present in northern New South Wales where a great deal of indignation is being expressed by dairy farmers in that area, who are being compelled to establish dips and have their dairy herds periodically dipped, although it is said there are no ticks there?

Sir Earle Page - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows

1.   Losses occur from lick fever, tick worry, loss of hide value, retardation of natural increase, growth and improvement, diminished productions of meat, milk and dairy products, for which nofinancial valuation can be given.

2.   The research activities are under the direction of the Council for Scientific and IndustrialResearch. Information as to the amount being spent by that council is being obtained. Upon eradication the annual amount spent is £44,450; in addition an annual grant of £25,000for three years is made for dip construction. This has all been spent in New South Wales but as the campaign proceeds and New South Wales is freed from tick, activities will be transferred to Queensland.

3.   Eradication of ticks in northern New South Wales is being carried out in accordance with the policy of the Cattle Tick Commission us accepted by the Governments of the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Queensland, in limited areas. No farmers are compelled to build dips; they are erected by the Government. Ticks exist throughout the area in which eradication operations are proceeding.

On the 3rd November, the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Forde) inquired as to the amount expended annu ally by the Government in research work in connexion with the cattle tick pest. I informed him that the research activities were under the direction of the Council for Scientific, and Industrial Research, and that the information asked for was being obtained. I am now advised that, for a number of years, the council carried out tick research in conjunction with the Departments of Agriculture of New South Wales and Queensland; £500 was contributed annually for the work, one-third by each party. This arrangement was terminated in 1932 and the council has done no tick research work since that time.

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