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Thursday, 24 November 1927

Mr PRATTEN (MARTIN, NEW SOUTH WALES) - On the 22nd November the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Cameron) asked the following question : -

Has he any further information to add to that supplied in his reply on the 11th August, 1926, to a question by the honorable member for Brisbane relative to wireless equipment on coastal vessels?

I am now able to furnish the honorable member with the following information : -

As intimated in my reply on 1 1th August last year, a committee of departmental experts (the Chief Manager of Telegraphs and Wireless, the Engineer of Lighthouses, and the Deputy Director of Navigation, Victoria) was appointed to report on the practicability of requiring wireless installations on small coasting vessels, with corresponding installations at lighthouses and other stations ashore. The questions submitted to the committee and its replies were as follows: -

Q.( 1 ) Whether a further extension of the wireless telegraphy requirements of the Navigation Act is practicable?

A.(1 ) Yes, provided the cost of installation and maintenance is not considered prohibitive.

Q.(2) For the purpose of calling assistance if in distress, is the wireless telephone a reliable instrument for installation in small vessels?

A.(2) No, unless equipped with wireless telegraph signalling facilities and operated by a skilled operator.

Q.(3) What shore receiving stations are necessary? How far apart may they be situated?

A.(3) If the range of the ship is limited to 100 miles for telephony, shore stations would be required about 200 miles apart, except where main coastal stations intervene.

Q.(4) Could such stations be provided at the coastal lighthouses, and. if so, which lighthouses should be equipped?

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