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Thursday, 4 May 1939

Mr PRICE (Boothby) .-I do not intend to enter the list as a protagonist for either Brisbane or Sydney. My purpose in rising to speak, is to urge the Government to have the Sydney project investigated carefully before any further action is taken in connexion with it. At this stage I do not definitely oppose the expenditure of the money on rebuilding; I simply ask that the whole project be reexamined. This, in my opinion, would be a suitable subject to refer to the Public Works Committee.

Mr Blain - What about the Darwin hospital project?

Mr PRICE - I hope that a new hospital will be erected at Darwin without undue delay. Another aspect of the proposed expenditure in Sydney requires attention. The Postmaster-General (Mr. Harrison) will not be doing his duty to the electors of this country unless he insists on the fullest inquiry into the expenditure of money on works in connexion with the Postal Department. I have noticed, from recent press reports, that this department showed a surplus of about £3,500,000 in its accounts for the last financial year. I, therefore, make another appeal to the Government to reduce the fee for wireless listeners' licences. These should be available for 15s.

Mr Gander - The fee should be 10s.

Mr PRICE - It is a good practice to make reductions of this kind gradually. In the existing circumstances I believe I have every justification for appealing to the Government for a reduction of this licence-fee to 15s. I ask the PostmasterGeneral to give careful consideration to the suggestions I have made.

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