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Wednesday, 6 December 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - I may be allowed to say, in reply to Senator Gould, that I have, of course, no personal knowledge of the matter, and the statement I made was the statement given to me by the Postmaster-General. I have given his explanation of the reasons which have prompted the Department in submitting this measure to Parliament.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee :

Clause 1 (Short Title).

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [8.9].- The document handed to honorable senators is the Bill as reported from the Committee of the whole on the 5th December, to the House of Representatives. I assume that it is exactly the same as the Bill which was sent up to the Senate with the message.

Senator Pearce - Yes. No subsequent amendment was made. The Clerk of the Senate has checked it, with the Bill sent up with the message.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 2 - (1.) The Postmaster-General may, after giving three months' notice to the owner, acquire any purchase telephone line which was erected by the Department of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones of any State at the expense of the owner or constructed by the owner prior to the year 1883 or his predecessor in title, and in respect of which the owner pays an annual maintenance fee. (2.) On the expiration of the time specified in sub-section (1.) of this section, the purchase telephone line specified in the notice shall become the property of the Commonwealth and vest in the Postmaster-General. (3. ) The compensation, if the amount cannot be agreed upon, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the laws relating to arbitration of the State in which the line is situated.

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