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Wednesday, 13 May 1936

Senator FOLL (QUEENSLAND) -Has the Minister for External Affairs seen the following statement of Mr. C. V. T. Wells, of Adelaide, chairman of Guinea Airways Limited, published recently in thepress? -

Aeroplanes of the latest types, and of a total value of more than £40,000, have been ordered for service in New Guinea by Guinea Airways Limited, within the past two months ... He also commented on the Commonwealth proposals for the merging of air transport companies in New Guinea and Papua under strict Government supervision.

Has the attention of the right honorable senator also been directed to the protest made by Mr. J. A. Carpenter, of the firm of W. R. Carpenter Limited, a company that is engaged in air transport in New Guinea, against the proposals of the Commonwealth, and his statement that this and other companies do not wish to be merged, but desire to be allowed to conduct their business in their own way? Is there any truth in the statement that it is proposed to merge these independent companies into one company ?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - I have not seen the statements referred to. It is, however, a fact that the Government has had under consideration the whole matter of an air policy for New Guinea and, subject to further investigation, had agreed in principle with the idea of a merger of air companies. That further investigation has been made, and in the light of representations by interested bodies in New Guinea - air companies, mining companies, and others - the matter is again to come before the Government for its consideration.

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