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Thursday, 25 June 1914

Senator McCOLL (VICTORIA) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) - I can only give the honorable senator the information I gave him yesterday. It came to me from a branch of the Home Affairs Department; it was in writing, and very specific, and I could only repeat it to-day. I shall ask for a confirmation of the information.

Senator Pearce - If the honorable senator securesthe information during the day, will he let the Senate have it?

Senator McCOLL - I will.

Senator PEARCE(for Senator Russell) askedthe Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -

1.   In it a fact that the material designed by the ex-ConsultingEngineer-in-Chief, and already supplied under contract, for the construction of the waterways in connexion with the transcontinental railway,has been found of insufficient strength to carry with safety the rolling-stock and traffic necessary for the construction of the railway?

2.   Has any part of this material, supplied at each end of the railway, been used in the construction of the water-ways, both culverts and bridges?

3.   Have steps of any kind been taken by the Department concerned to strengthen the waterways as originally designed and constructed?

4.   If the water-ways already constructed have, sincetheir construction, been strengthened or altered, -what method was adopted for strengthening such water-ways?

Senator McCOLL - The answers are -

1.   No.

2.   See answer to No. 1. 3 and 4. In order to deck certain open culverts modifications of designs were effected. Opportunity was thus taken to make them of the same standard as the bridges.

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