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Friday, 19 July 1946

Mr WARD (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for External Territories) - This project was brought to my notice some considerable time ago. The matter has been fully considered by the Commonwealth transport department. The military authorities do not recommend it for strategical purposes, and Sir Harold Clapp, the DirectorGeneral of Rail Transport, has recommended against its inclusion in the plan to standardize the Australian railway gauges. He advises that it is a matter for consideration ' by the State governments concerned. I have advised people interested in the matter to approach the governments of Victoria and New South Wales. If the State governments were prepared to proceed with it but had difficulty in finding the necessary finance the Commonwealth Government would sympathetically consider an approach by them for assistance.

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