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Tuesday, 29 November 1938

Mr Harrison n. - On the 25th November, the honorable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. Green) asked the following questions, upon notice: -

1.   Is it a fact that the decision with regard to a capital site for the Territory of New Guinea has not yet been completed by Cabinet?

2.   If so, will he press for an early choice being made, as the delay has created a state of unsettling uncertainty among the people in Mew Guinea?

3.   When the question is brought before Cabinet by the Minister, will he have the outstanding claims of Wau taken into consideration along with other sites?

I am now in a position to advise the honorable member that the matter of the selection of a suitable site for the administrative head-quarters of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea has been reviewed recently by Cabinet and that the claims of Wau and of other likely sites have been considered. The possible

Bites are Salamaua, Wau, Lae and an area near Madang, but none of these, according to the information at present available, is outstanding as a suitable location. The Government has decided thoroughly to survey the possibilities of a unified administration for both Papua and the Mandated Territory of New Guinea with one main administrative centre for the two territories. Pending the completion of such investigations, it is not proposed that a separate site shall be selected for the administrative headquarters of New Guinea. It is proposed, however, that certain functions of government, such as the central staffs of the Department of Trade and Customs, the Department of Public Works, and other activities of a like nature, should be transferred to Salamaua. The staffs of the other departments will remain at Rabaul for the present.

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