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Wednesday, 21 March 1928

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) .- This afternoon I asked the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral, " What is the loss or profit on the working of the Beam section of the Amalgamated Wireless Company?" and I was informed that the information is not available in the PostmasterGeneral's Department. Half the shares in that company are held by the Government on behalf of - the people of Australia, and I desire to know whether honorable senators are entitled to get information about the company; if so, to what Minister should my question he addressed. I did not expect that the information would be in the files of the PostmasterGeneral's Department; hut I assumed that it would be obtained, and, if we are entitled to it, I hope that the Minister representing the Postmaster-General will get it for me.

According to a statement published in the press tenders have been received in London for the purchase of the Commonwealth Government Line of Steamers. The Prime Minister has stated that the details of the tenders are being sent to Australia by mail, because it would cost a small fortune to transmit the information by wireless or cablegram. I understand that Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited has not sufficient overseas traffic to keep it operating half-time; if that is so, would it not be an act of statesmanship to utilize this modern service in order to get the information promptly? Must governments still adhere to oldfushioned methods of communication?

The annual report of the PostmasterGeneral's Department was tabled in the House on the 9th March ; so far I have not received a copy, and I assume that other honorable senators have not been supplied. . '

Senator Sir George Pearce - All documents must be submitted to the Printing Committee.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is time that the Printing Committee got busy, for people who are not senators have copies of the report, and I perused one in Sydney.

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