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Thursday, 21 May 1914

Senator McCOLL - The first reply I received reads as follows: -

The Engineer-in-Chief for Railways has no knowledge of the statement referred to. He has sent an urgent wire of inquiry to Port Augusta, and hopes to have a reply before the Senate meets this afternoon.

A further communication was sent to me -

No men can have been put off by the Department since the Department's instructions are to push on with the work. Possibly men employed by contractors who are finishing work contracted for may be referred to.

A few minutes before the Senate met this afternoon a telegram was received which throws some light on this matter -

A wire has been received from South Australia which would seem to show that men have been put off earthworks into ballast pits. I have issued instructions that no satisfactory men are to be paid off, and that the earthworks must be pushed on with.

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