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Monday, 20 May 1957

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for East Sydney should ask his question.

Mr WARD - I ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the Skymaster aircraft which made an emergency landing at Darwin, last week-

Mr Beale - I rise to order. I ask for your ruling, Mr. Speaker. Having regard to the observation made by the honorable member for East Sydney, and since the Deputy Prime Minister has indicated that he will' not answer the question, is the honorable member in order in taking up the time of the House by asking a question that he knows will not be answered?

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member for East Sydney is in order.

Mr WARD - As I always am. I desire to ask the Deputy Prime Minister the following questions: Was the Skymaster aircraft which made an emergency landing at Darwin last week operating under charter to Australian National Airways Proprietary Limited? Was the number of persons, inclusive of members of the crew, namely 88, onboard that aircraft, in excess of the number normally carried by this type of aircraft and, if so, to what extent? Will the private company responsible for this flight be called upon to meet the expense incurred in the emergency arrangements made by the Commonwealth authorities following advice that the aircraft was in difficulties? What action has the Commonwealth taken to ensure that the lives of people travelling to Australia will not be endangered as a result of the avarice of private airline operators?

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