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Wednesday, 6 December 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I move -

That this Bill be now read a second time.

I understand that, prior to 1883, certain persons in the State of New South Wales were allowed, at their own expense, to be connected with the Government telephone exchange. Lines then erected at private expense have been continued under the orginal arrangement up to the present time. It is found that this makes it difficult for the Post and Telegraph Department to carry out their desire to make the telephone service more efficient. This Bill provides that the Postmaster-General, after giving two months' notice to the owner of one of these lines, may acquire it. This power is sought particularly in regard to the metropolitan area. It is anticipated that the exercise of the power conferred by the Bill will entail an expenditure of between £3,000 and .£4,000 in the acquisition of these purchase telephone lines. The Bill provides that if the amount of compensation to be paid for one of these lines cannot be agreed upon, it is- to be settled by arbitration in accordance with the laws relating to arbitration of the State in which the line is situated. I have stated practically the purpose of the Bill, and T do not think there is occasion for any further explanation of it.

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