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Thursday, 8 August 1946

Mr WHITE (Balaclava) .- I do' not propose to allow this bill, which provides for the expenditure of £70,000,000 for the standardization of railway gauges in New South Wales. Victoria and . South Australia, to pass without some comment! The money for this project must be obtained from taxation, and the people are already heavily taxed. I shall review the proposals contained in this bill critically, but constructively. One has only to experience the confusion which prevails at times at Albury - the horder station . between the two most populous States - to realize that a modified scheme for the standardization of gauges at reasonable cost would be of advantage. However, the time is not opportune, in the last few hours of the session, to commit the country to such a vast expenditure as this bill contemplates. The responsibility should be left to the incoming government. The

Minister for Transport (Mr. Ward) pointed out that the first railway was constructed in Australia in 1854.. At that time Great .Britain was engaged in the Crimean War. This session began on the 18th .Tune, the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. That date, in my opinion, has a bearing on the fate of this Government. After the forthcoming elections, a different government will be in office.

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