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Thursday, 11 July 1946

Mr FADDEN (Darling Downs) (Leader of the Australian Country party) 1 10.25]. - I cannot refrain from replying to the criticism of" the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Burke), who said that the rights, licences and concessions enjoyed by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited were bestowed upon it by previous governments, which were therefore responsible. That, however, is not the point. We are now considering what compensation should be paid to the company for the forfeiture of those rights.

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable /member must discuss clause 31.

Mr FADDEN - I am replying to the statement of the honorable member for Perth. You permitted him to make certain observations.

The CHAIRMAN - I told the honorable member for Perth to confine his remarks to clause 31.

Mr FADDEN - Yes, after he had made the remark of which I complain. I must bow- to your ruling, but I regret that you allowed him to make the observations and now refuse to allow me to reply to them. The Minister' declared that at no time had the Government paid a. subsidy to Amalgamated Wireless' (Australasia) Limited, but I draw his attention to page 123 of the Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure for the year 1945-46.

The CHAIRMAN - The clause under consideration deals with the preparation of estimates by the commission when it is constituted.

Mr FADDEN - The commission, when preparing its estimates, must be guided by experience, and it is shown in the Estimates for 1945-46 that the PostmasterGeneral's Department paid a subsidy of £37,950 for one year to Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited as a contribution towards the cost of coastal wireless stations. That gives the lie direct to the Minister who said that no subsidy or contribution had been paid by this Government to Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited.

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