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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN (EdenMonaro) (Postmaster-General) . - Very careful inquiries have been made with respect to the automatic telephone system, and we find that, although it has been a pronounced success in one city - I refer to the city of Grand Rapids, U.S.A. - it is being discarded in other countries where it has been tried. The officers of the Department, after careful inquiry, have come to the conclusion that what is known as the common battery system - a system which we have just installed in Hobart - is prefer- able. When some of the agents for the automatic system approached1 me, I said that I was prepared to allow them to instal it in one of the towns that are springing up, and require a telephone service, and that, if it proved successful, we should be prepared to deal with them. In view of the information I have obtained, however, I do not think that we should be justified in expending, a large sum of money in, installing the system in Sydney or Melbourne, more especially as, if unsuccessful, it would lead to the' public being subjected to much inconvenience.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How is it that it is a success in Grand Rapids ?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN - Although it has proved successful there, in Germany and other countries where it has been tried it is gradually being discarded. In build- ing new exchanges, those countries are showing a preference for the common battery system. We have not yet established the common battery system in Melbourne or Sydney, but we are preparing to instal it in sections, and I believe that it will be found a great improvement on the present arrangement.

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