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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr MULCAHY (Lang) (11:59 AM) . - I take this opportunity to stress the need for making money available for the stan dardization of railway gauges in Australia. The problem of transporting troops and equipment from one State to another is complicated by the frequent breaks of gauge. The delay and inconvenience that occur at Albury provide an excellent illustration of the difficulty. The Inventions Board now has under consideration several schemes for overcoming the break-of-gauge problem, and I understand that the Department of the Army may allocate money for this purpose. From time to time, a number of devices has been invented, the adoption of which would not be unduly expensive. Last week, the Inventions Board and professors from the Sydney University examined a design by a Mr. Neilly. Three years ago, its possibilities were investigated by a select committee of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, and one of the witnesses who gave evidence, Mr. Fewtrell, an official of the New South Wales Railways Department, stated that he could not understand why the States had not adopted it. Evidently, the States were not .able to agree upon the allocation of expenditure; but, in wartime, the duty devolves upon the Commonwealth to take action to overcome this problem.

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