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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) .- Senator Hardyhas raised several interesting matters. The overseas mail is delivered in Sydney by aeroplane, and is then sent on to the less fortunate capitals by train. A short time ago when the Director of Civil Aviation was in Adelaide, a deputation waited on him to suggest that it would be reasonable that other capital cities should also be served direct,' and not by train from Sydney. On behalf of the deputation, the president of the South Australian Chamber of Commerce suggested that the planes should fly direct from Darwin to Adelaide. The Director of Civil Aviation seemed to see a good deal of merit in the suggestion. I have no desire to misrepresent him, but I gathered from what I read that he was sympathetic towards the proposal, and he suggested that application should be made to the responsible authorities. On behalf of my State I therefore now bring this matter forward. I have no desire that the country should be involved in a great deal of expense which may be regarded as unnecessary, but it seems to me that it should be at least possible to link up the overseas mails from Sydney to Melbourne and Adelaide by air, and that the present system should be discontinued.

Senator Hardy - And that the service should be extended to the intermediate towns.

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - That is another matter. The second question raised by the honorable senator concerned the route between Melbourne and Sydney or particularly that between Melbourne and Canberra. I speak without real certainty with regard to this matter, but I think that the pilots in charge of the aeroplanes on that service adjust their route to weather conditions, that is to say, when they encounter good flying conditions they go by the straight route. I travelled over this route last week and we made the flight from Melbourne to Canberra, a distance of 320 miles, in two hours, arriving at Canberra half an hour before schedule time. On that occasion we travelled via Tea and Holbrook.

Senator Hardy - I referred to night flying.

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