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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2158

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister for Home Affairs) - I merely desire to say that when the Postal Rates Act was under consideration I moved an amendment which enabled the regulation to which I have already referred to be framed. At that time a question was raised as to whether the Queensland Weather Bureau should be charged for services rendered to it by the Postal Department, which step would have deprived us of the benefit of Mr. Wragge's forecasts. I moved an amendment, which was carried, and in accordance with that amendment the following regulation was framed : -

Subject to the following regulations, meteorological telegrams may be transmitted free of, charge : -

(a)   From the principal meteorological officer of a State to the principal meteorological officer of another State ; or

(b)   From the principal meteorological officer of a State to an authorized observer at a reporting station ; or

(c)   From an authorized observer at a reporting station to the principal meteorological officer of a State.

Where cable rates have to be paid on meteorological telegrams, they must be paid by the sender.

A meteorological telegram shall be sent as a message, and shall contain current meteorological information only, and must be in code and be concisely expressed, and, if a weather report, must contain not more than 12 words; and, if not a weather report, must contain not more than 20 words.

Meteorological telegrams shall only be sent when necessary, and shall not take precedence of ordinary telegrams.

Mr Fisher - Is that provision contained in the Postal Rates Act?

Mr GROOM - No. It is embodied in a regulation framed under that Act.

Mr Wilkinson - Then what would be an expense to the Meteorological Department would constitute a revenue to the Post and Telegraph Department?

Mr GROOM - I took it that the question put to me by the honorable member for Wide Bay related to the annual value of weather telegrams. I replied that it was £40,000, and the honorable member for Corangamite was" adding that amount to the expenditure that will be involved in constituting a Federal Meteorological Department.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 5 -

The Governor-General may enter into an arrangement, with the Governor of any State in respect of all or any of the following matters : -

(a)   The transfer to the Commonwealth, on such terms as are agreed upon, of any observatory and the instruments, books, registers, records, and document used or kept in connexion therewith;

(b)   The taking and recording of meteorological observations by State officers;

(c)   The interchange of meteorological information between the Commonwealth and State authorities; and (d.) Any matters incidental to any of the matters above specified or desirable or convenient to be. arranged or provided for the purpose of efficiently and economically carrying out this Act.

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