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Friday, 22 May 1936

Senator ALLAN MACDONALD (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) . - A recent announcement indicated that the TransAustralian railway service would be speeded up, resulting in a considerable saving of time on the journey between Fremantle, Adelaide, and Melbourne. I suggest that that saving should not be effected by an alteration of the time of departure as well as of the time of arrival, but should all be made at the terminal point. It may be that, because of the speeding up, the train which now leaves Perth late on Saturday night need not leave there until the following Sunday morning, and instead of arriving at Melbourne early in the morning a few days later, it could reach there late the previous evening. Those two savings would not be of very great benefit to travellers, whereas if the whole saving could be made at the terminal point, it would be a great convenience. I desire to compliment the department upon instituting the service of air-conditioned coaches, which has greatly increased the comfort of travelling across the Nullarbor Plain during very warm weather. I hope that funds will be made available to extend the service to the dining-car, and to other passenger coaches.

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - I undertake to bring the remarks of the honorable senator under the notice of the Minister for the Interior.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Postmaster-General's DEPARTMENT

Proposed vote,£2,664,300.

Senator ARKINS(New South Wales; [12.17]. - During the consideration of the next Estimates, I propose to discuss the activities of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I mention the matter now because, if I failed to do so, I might be asked at a later stage why 1 had not brought it up before. As a matter of fact I did try on a previous occasion to discuss the subject, but was prevented from doing so by the Standing Orders. This item provides an opportunity to do so, but as we are so limited for time, I do not propose to continue the discussion now. I shall at a later stage discuss fully the activities of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and disclose matters which need to be ventilated in the interests of the people.

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