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Thursday, 28 May 1914

Senator McCOLL (VICTORIA) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) - I cannot answer the question of the honorable senator, but I can say that the Minister made no second contract with Mr. Teesdale Smith.

Senator GARDINER - Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs been drawn to this passage in the agreement -

That in the event of the work to be carried out, performed and completed bythe contractor under this agreement being carried out, performed and completed by the contractor to the satisfaction of the said Engineer-in-Chief, the parties hereto will enter into an agreement similar to this agreement in respect of that section of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway line as lies between a distance of one hundred and twenty-two (122) miles from Port Augusta aforesaid: to one hundred and twenty-nine (129) miles from Port Augusta.

Senator Millen - What is that extract taken from?

Senator GARDINER - From the agreement entered into between Mr. Kelly and Mr. Teesdale Smith.

Senator Millen - Is it signed?

Senator GARDINER - I shallcall attention to Mr. Kelly's statement if the Minister of Defence will give me time. Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs been called to that passage in the agreement, and also to the statement made by Mr. Kelly, in which, evidently writing a letter to the Crown Solicitor, he said -

Captain Saunders, Supervising Engineer, Port Augusta, saw me this afternoon with reference to Mr. Teesdale Smith's contract. He had seen the recommendation of the EngineerinChief with regard thereto, dated the 5th February, 1914, before he saw me in company with the Engineer-in- Chief and Mr. Teesdale Smith. He took the recommendation as applying to the section from 92 to 106 miles. He remembers that the recommendation in question was handed to the Minister shortly after he and the others arrived, and that after reading it the Minister asked the Engineer-in-Chief whether he had satisfied himself as to the rates asked for being if anything slightly less than the rates paid by the Government of South Australia to Mr. Teesdale Smith for similar work, and that on receipt of the Engineer- inChief's assurance of this fact, I stamped my approval on the papers. "Will the Minister inquire whether that paragraph was in the papers so stamped by Mr. Kelly?

Senator McCOLL - I have no further knowledge than that which I have alreadygiven to the honorable senator, but I will inquire into the matter.

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