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Wednesday, 9 June 1926

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I rise to refute a statement made by Senator Barwell, that the Western Australian Government had not called for tenders for locomotives in Australia, but had gone straight to London for them. That statement is entirely wrong.

Senator Sir Henry Barwell - Senator Foll has all the information on the matter.

Senator NEEDHAM - I am not replying to Senator Foll, but to Senator Barwell. If the latter's arguments to-day are based on the same kind of evidence as he submitted in stating the case against the Western ' Australian Government, I ask the committee not to be influenced by his advice. The fact is that that government called for tenders in Western Australia for the construction of a certain number of locomotives, and one of the firms that tendered was Thompson's of Castlemaine. It is true that Thompson's tender was not accepted, one reason, amongst others, being that the locomotives could not be delivered in time for the rich harvest about to be handled. If they could have been delivered when required, I venture to say that the Australian tender would have been accepted.

Senator Sir Henry Barwell - The difference in time required by the local and overseas tenderers for the South Australian engines was three years and eight months.

Senator NEEDHAM - The honorable senator should not confuse the Western Australian with the South Australian tenders. He should state facts alone.

Senator Sir Henry Barwell - I shall state the f a'cts in- a few moments.

Senator NEEDHAM - Possibly the honorable senator has mixed up the Western Australian Government with the Midland Railway Company, a private concern, which went direct to London for a contract for certain locomotives. He appears to have been instructed by Senator Foll, and I suggest that he should be careful from whom he receives instruction in connexion with his next brief, because it is evident that he has been wrongly .advised.

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