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Wednesday, 3 July 1946

Mr FADDEN (Darling Downs) (Leader of the Australian Country party) . - The honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen) put the case admirably when he stated that the matter boiled down to a question whether there should be a partial broadcast, with all its imperfections, ineffectiveness and consequent waste of money, or a full broadoast of the proceedings of both Houses when money and facilities are available. That is exactly what I had in mind. The present is not an opportune time to incur the enormous expenditure that would be necessary for a completely effective broadcast of the proceedings of both Houses of the Parliament. On the other hand, I am firmly of the opinion that money should not be extracted from the public purse for what must obviously be merely a partial broadcast, with all its imperfections and mechanical disabilities. The honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear) went from the sublime to the ridiculous when -he drew attention to the fact that the Broadcasting

Committee stated that the ideal arrange- . ment would be the. provision of a network of 22 additional national medium-wave stations capable of serving nearly all populated portions of Australia, the equipment for which alone would entail expenditure of somewhere in the neighbourhood of £500,000. That envisages the most complete and perfect system of full broadcasting of the parliamentary debates of which Australia is capable. The Broadcasting Committee did not contemplate such a grandiose scheme in the initial stages of parliamentary broadcasting. Such a proposal envisages serving the whole population of Australia. The proposal now before us does not go nearly as far as that. I have already pointed out that there are many people in remote' parts of Australia, including those in the electorates of Kennedy and Wilmot, who will never have an opportunity to listen to the partial broadcasts proposed by 'the Government. And even the broadcasting of the proceedings of both Houses fully would not, in the initial stages, necessitate the utilization of the 22 additional stations. These were envisaged by the Broadcasting Committee as necessary only to ensure a complete and perfect system.

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