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Wednesday, 29 April 1942

Mr Guy y asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

In view of the scarcity of newsprint and the urgent necessity to conserve paper and to safeguard public funds, will he give the necessary instructions immediately to cease the issue of the pamphlet entitled Digest of Decisions and Announcements and Important Speeches bp the Prime Minister?

Mr. CURTIN.- No. It is considered that these pamphlets, containing as they do information of general interest and value to the public of Australia, more than justify the small amount of paper used and the slight cost involved.

Transport of Soldiers on Leave.

Mr Guy asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice - 1.Is it a fact that the Tasmaman Government Transport Department refused to allow a train to be delayed a few minutes at Burnie recently to permit members of our fighting forces returning from the Middle East and on limited leave to transfer from a ship to the train, en route to their homes?

2.   Is it a fact that the train was delayed without demur for approximately 25 minutes farther along the line?

3.   Is it a fact that many soldiers Were obliged to pay their own fares by other means of transport or to wait five or six hours for the departure of the next train and lose much valuable time with their relatives at their homes ?

4.   Will he take whatever action is necessary to ensure that such treatment of our lighting forces will not occur again?

Mr Forde e. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   I am informed that the passenger ship due at Burnie on the occasion referred to was running late and that the train from Burnie left at the normal hour, arrangements being made for the ship's passengers to catch a train at 1.25 p.m.I understand that this action was taken because the train would have been delayed an hour which would have resulted in the dislocation of connecting services.

2.   Delays occurred en route due to exigencies of railway operation, and these amounted in the aggregate to 42 minutes for the whole journey.

3.   It is understood that some of the personnel elected to travel by hire car although they could have reached Hobart by train at 10.19 p.m.

4.   Matters of this kind are dealt with by the local railway administration, which has always given sympathetic co-operation in meeting Army requirements consistent with the necessity for maintaining the high degree of efficiency required of railway services in meeting the increased and vital demands of war organization.

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