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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2177

Mr GLYNN (Angas) .- I should like to mention that in the report of the Conference which the Minister circulated amongst a few honorablemembersthis afternoon, it is mentioned that even if the Astronomical Department be not taken over by the Commonwealth, the two branches of astronomy and meteorology will be carried on together by the States. That is a matter which affects my judgment in voting for the recommittal, because, if the two branches are still to be worked as they have hitherto been-

Mr Groom - The report does not contain that statement.

Mr GLYNN - There is a recommendation to that effect.

Mr Groom - A recommendation may have been made.

Mr GLYNN - I am dealing with the recommendations of the Conference. They say that if the Commonwealth does take over the meteorological branch, it will still be. conducted in Adelaide, and some of the other capitals of the States, in conjunction with the Astronomical Department, so that, even if both were taken over, there would be no difference so far as administration is concerned. It is a misnomer to talk of taking over the Departments. I do not know that there is power to take them over. We can practically compel the State to hand over the Meteorological Department by charging for telegrams in connexion with it, and so imposing upon them an expenditure of£40,000 a year which they will not be prepared to face. I do not know that we could deal with their messages to Mars, or with their communications with the celestial luminaries throughout the universe in the same way. So far as their Astronomical Departments are concerned, their administration would not be much affected by any boycott that we could place upon them, but we can effectively force their hands as regards the other Departments by saying that as soon as they are taken over by the Commonwealth the free telegrams now sent over our wires in connexion with them shall cease.

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