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Thursday, 19 November 1914

Senator RUSSELL - The answers are -

1.   The contract was not with the Commonwealth. Details of contracts entered into in such cases are usually treated as confidential between the contractor and the Government concerned. I will refer to the South Australian Railway Commissioner as to whether they may be made public.

2.   The correspondence has been tabled, printed, and circulated.

3.   The Minister was called upon to settle a question which- had arisen in regard to Mr. Teesdale Smith paying certain sums for the carriage of his men and material, and which seemed likely to involve troublesome negotiations and possible litigation. A suggestion was made that if Mr. Teesdale Smith agreed to pay the sums claimed without further demur, the Minister should remit the penalty imposed by his predecessor, which was less than the amount claimed for freight, &c. The Minister considered that, under all the circumstances, such a course was likely to be the most economical solution of the matter for the Government, and intimated that, as a matter of grace, he would under such conditions agree to remit the penalty imposed. The matter has not yet been finally completed.

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