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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Senator ALLAN MacDONALD (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - In view of the question asked by Senator J ames McLachlan regarding the difficulty experienced by honorable senators in obtaining berths on the interstate railways, will the Minister in charge of navigation make inquiries as to the vacant passenger accommodation on the Governmentcontrolled interstate vessels plying between the eastern ports of Australia and Western Australia, with a view to ascertaining whether it would be possible to use that accommodation for the transport of many departmental officials and others who now travel on the trans- Australian railway? Those passengers are known in railroad circles as " dead-heads ", and most of them are not in a hurry when required to travel on business. That would reduce the present urgent demand for berths on the railways and make use of the space available on interstate steamers that are now plying from port to port with an extremely small number of passengers.

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