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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [2.40 |. - The comparatively small amount contained in this vote is necessary to cover items such as photography and the printing of maps and literature. In some years more matter is printed than in others, but I quite agree with Senator Brown that there is scope for more publicity in regard to Canberra, and I shall see that his remarks are brought, under the notice of the Minister. Furthermore, I shall inform the Minister of the applause with which Senator Brown's appeal was received by other honorable senators.

Senator Sir Walter Massy-Greene - Can the Minister g re an undertaking that better railway facilities will be provided ?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - Unfortunately, the railways do not come under the control of the Commonwealth Government.

Senator Grant - Could not a more regular service be instituted?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.Both the responsible Minister and the Government have made repeated requests to the railway authorities of New South Wales for a better service, but apparently with little success.

Senator Gibson - Could not a line be constructed from Yass to Canberra?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - That, would not solve the problem, because the provision of rolling-stock would still be controlled by the Railway Department of New South Wales. Such a possibility was examined, I believe, when the honorable senator was a Minister, and he, like others of us, shied at the cost involved. The Government is conscious that the train service to Canberra is anything but. satisfactory. Senator MassyGreene informed me of an experience which befell him last night, and which I intend to bring under the notice of the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Paterson). The Minister informed Cabinet that he had obtained a distinct promise from the Railway Department of New South Wales that the carriage generally known as " the dog box " would not be put on the train, again.

Senator Collings - But it was.

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.That was a distinct breach of an honorable understanding. J. assure honorable senators that Ministers suffer the same disability as they do; there is undoubtedly room for considerable improvement.

Senator ARKINS(New South Wales) | 2.43]. - I support the remarks of Senator Brown in regard to the Tourist Bureau for Canberra. Not enough publicity is given to the beauties of this city, and, furthermore, not enough attention is paid to the fact that: Canberra is the national capital of Australia. I am reminded that scores of tourists who have journeyed to Canberra have commented on its remarkable beauty and bracing climate This national capital has as many scenic attractions as,- possibly, any "other city in the world. Further, it enjoys a healthgiving climate - a fact which, I believe, is reflected in the appearance of honorable senators themselves. Has the Minister any figures showing the number of tourists who visit Canberra?

Senator Sir George Pearce - No, but the numbers ave increasing.

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