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Friday, 8 May 1942

Mr HOLT (Fawkner) .- I support, the remarks of the honorable member for Bass (Mr. Barnard) and take this opportunity to refer to another Library arrangement which is causing some inconvenience to honorable members who are not able to leave Canberra until the evening train on Fridays. Under existing arrangements the Library is closed for one bour during the dinner interval on Friday evenings. I appreciate the necessity for the members of the Library staff to obtain their evening meal, but it so happens that the hour the Library is closed would be the most convenient hour that honorable members who propose catching the evening train from Canberra could spend in the Library. They would be able in that period, if the Library were open, to read the newspapers which arrived by air mail during the afternoon. I suggest for the consideration of the Library Committee that although it may be necessary for the members of the Library staff generally to be absent from the Library during this period, in order to obtain their meal, it should be possible for arrangements to be made for the Housekeeper, or some other officer, to be in attendance in the Library during that time, so that honorable members who so desire may have access to the recently arrived newspapers, and also to the bookshelves, even though it may not be practicable for them to take out books in the ordinary way. I hope that consideration will he given to this suggestion.

An unhappy experience that I had while proceeding to my hotel during the black-out last night impels me to raise a matter that concerns the safety of honorable members. In the neighbourhood of Parliament House there are several concrete posts, rising to a height of 3 feet or more above ground level, bearing street names. Last night, I came forcibly into contact with one of these posts, which is on the path that leads to Hotel Canberra. Honorable members whose eyesight is not keener than mine, run the risk of having a similar experience. I have directed the attention of the Department of the Interior to the dangerous position of the particular post that I encountered. If the Minister for the Interior (Senator Collings) has in his keeping the safety of members of Parliament, he might well look into the matter.

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