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Thursday, 9 November 1911

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - We have heard from time to time a great deal of what a Government can do as compared with private enterprise, but private enterprise has established several wireless stations in Australia since the Government promised the establishment of a station at Thursday Island. The stations established by private enterprise may not be as well equipped as those at Pennant Hills and Fremantle, but they are powerful enough to do the work we require to have done. Senator Millen now informs us that the wireless telegraphy expert has been engaged in a controversy with the Marconi company, and, reading between the lines, it may be suggested that he would favour the adoption of a particular system. We shall not prejudge him, however, and will assume that he has an open mind on the subject. But I would impress upon the Government that they have the money, and should not allow private persons to act in advance of themselves, and put up wireless stations. The people on Thursday Island look to the Government to undertake this work. A promise was made that it would be proceeded with, but it has not been kept. I believe that the Government could have done the work if they had so wished. What has been the cause of the delay I do not know, but to-morrow I shall have to tell the people of Thursday Island that, although private persons have been able to erect wireless stations within the year, the Government have, for some reason or other, been unable to do so.

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