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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I endorse all that has been said by Senator Findley concerning the excellent service provided by the eastwest railway. Many who scoffed at the proposal to construct the line now hold a- totally different opinion. I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Works and Railways what is being done in connexion with the construction of the section of railway between Red Hill and Port Augusta? I believe the agreement provided that the work was to be completed by 1929.

Senator Crawford - A bill -will be introduced this session providing for the construction of that line.

Senator NEEDHAM - Will the Minister consider the advisableness of installing wireless telegraphy on the trains on the east-west railway? During the time I have been travelling on that line I have heard nothing but approval of the comforts available, and the civility of the staff. A piano is provided in the lounge, and passengers have also the luxury of a shower-bath, which is unusual on trains. It should be an easy matter to provide a wireless set, with a loud speaker, so that passengers may be kept in touch with the world's news. This matter, I believe, was brought under the notice of the Government by the honorable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. A. Green), who received a reply to the effect that it was impracticable to operate wireless on trains. That is not so. On one occasion when I was travelling between Perth and Kalgoorlie a passenger with a wireless set obtained good reception by fixing a broom handle on the footboard and running a wire as an aerial along the top of the carriage. The equipment was so effective that all the way to Northam passengers enjoyed a splendid programme, transmitted from Farmers', in Perth. If that can be done with a primitive equipment, surely an effective wireless set could be provided, on the east-west trains.

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