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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) . - -Thisbill proposes to expend £89,870 on equipment for the national broadcasting services, but the question arises as to whether it is worth while for the Commonwealth Government to spend that amount of money if the people are not. satisfied with the services they are getting. The Broadcasting Commission has an annual revenue of about £500,000 but, for some extraordinary reason, it seems to get a little wild in the making of disbursements. In the last twelve months nine appointments have been made, and the salaries payable in respect of those appointments total more than £7,000.

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! This item does not relate to salaries; it deals with masts and plant. The honorable senator must connect his remarks with the item.

Senator LECKIE - Surely I am in order in asking whether it is worth' while for the Government to spend this money on the particular works mentioned in the bill in order to supply a service which is not adequate?

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable senator will be in order so long as he confines his attention to the item under discussion, but he will bc out of order if he roams over the whole subject of broadcasting. I suggest that a better . opportunity for him to address himself to the point he has raised will be presented when the budget papers are under discussion.

Senator LECKIE - This item provides for the expenditure of money on certain works for services of the Broadcasting Commission. I seek to know whether, in spending that money, we can confidently expect that the work of the Broadcasting Commission will he improved.

The CHAIRMAN - I rule that a discussion on broadcasting generally is not relevant to this item.

Proposed vote agreed to.

NORTHERN Territory.

Proposed vote,£93,000.

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