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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 1053

Senator Townley asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:

When will the Postmaster-General's Department introduce push-button telephones into Australia.

Senator Bishop - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

There are still some factors not yet resolved in determining whether and when push button telephones might be introduced in Australia. I will let the honourable senator have more information as soon as outstanding issues have been decided.

Telephones: STD Tones (Question No. 103)

Senator Townley asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:

Will the Postmaster-General have the length of the'pips' that are heard at the beginning of a subscriber trunk dialled call reduced to a more reasonable length.

Senator Bishop - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

Yes. The Department is aware from customer reaction surveys that a good many subscribers consider the STD tone is too long and that some find it annoying. It has been decided therefore to reduce the length of the signal.

It is not, however, a simple matter of adjustment and it will be necessary to modify some 40,000 items of exchange equipment throughout the telephone network. Supplies of the replacement component required for the purpose are expected to take about 6 months to procure and the modifications will then be effected as quickly as practicable.

Death Sentences in Chile

Senator Willesee - On 1 August 1974, Senator Gietzelt asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the following question, without notice:

Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs aware that a military tribunal has sentenced to death 3 Chilean Air Force Officers and a top public official for collecting information about a clandestine military plot during the period of President Allende's legal government and prior to the coup? Is it not the obligation of all responsible citizens to collate information about treasonable activities against a legal and democratic government and report it to the appropriate authorities? In these circumstances, will the Minister give urgent consideration to appealing to the Chilean Junta not to carry out the death sentences?

The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

1   . The Embassy in Santiago has reported that on 30 July the Chilean authorities announced death sentences for treason, conspiracy and sedition for ex-Colonel Ernesto Galiz, ex-Captain Raul Vergara, ex-Sergeant Belarmino Constanzo and one Carlos Lazo, former Vice President of the Central Bank. 2.I now understand that these sentences have been commuted to terms of imprisonment. While this welcome step was taken before we had time to raise the matter with the Chileans, they are of course well aware of our strongly felt attitude to the persecution of opponents of the Junta.

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