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Belinotit Road Had it First
A blunt refusal was given today by the Minister for Lands (Mr. Troy) to a deputation which asked that the name 'Great Eastern Highway' should be applied to what is known as the old Guildford-road. There were many stormy moments during the pre sentation of the deputation's case, and angry exchanges be tween Mr. Troy and Mr. W. D.* Johnson, M.L.A.
THE deputation was introduced by Mr. Johnson, and included Messrs. J. Hegpey. L. Thorn and R. E. Clothier, M's.L.A1., R.. A. McDonald and L. R. Latham (chairman and secretary, respectively, of the Bassendean Road Board), Cr. F. J. Warnock (Midland Junction), Messrs. W. W. Abbett (Perth Road Board), and J. Ward (Bayswater Road Board). . In outlining the deputation's request, Mr. Johnson said that the road which was the subject of thp deputation's re quest . was not a gazetted main road, although it carried a large volume of traflic. Q'he Perth Road Board, Bays water Road Board. Bassendean Road Board and Midland Junction Council, through whose territory the old Guild ford-road ran. were carrying on road construction work within the limits of the traflic fees granted them, with the object of seeing the road gazetted as a main road. Mr. McDonald referred to correspond ence from the Lands Department ex tending from February, 1927, onwards The Bassendean Board had been in formed' that a change of name would have to have the unanimous approval of the local bodies concerned. That agreement had now been reached and ihe name of 'Great Eastern Highway1' selected. Tn a letter from the department dated July 17 Jast, the boards con cerned were informed that the sug gested name could not be applied, as it was not appropriate or fitting, and that the matter should remain in abeyance pending a review of the whole subject. A census of traflic over the two roads concerned showed that the old Guildford-road carried 1300 more vehicles in a given period than did the Belmont road. SURPRISE FOR DEPUTATION Other members supported Mr. McDonald's remarks. In his reply Mr. Troy said that he did not think the deputation was seri ously concerned as to what the road should be called. H-1 surprised the de putation by telling .them that what was inovvu previously as the Belmont-roau'
had been declared the 'Great Eastern Highway.' Approval had been given to that step in October last. There had been no ob jection raised to such a move. For a moment the deputation was dumfounded, then angry interjec tions followed. At one stage Mr. Troy told one member that he would ' not permit him to remain in the room if he 'took possession of his office' as he was doing. Mr. Johnson expressed his resentment at what he called an 'extraordinary procedure.' A suggestion contained in a letter to one department had been put into effect by another department. Mr. Troy (angrily) : I never saw the correspondence. Mr. McDonald:- Then where did' you get the name from? , Mr. Troy: Why are you jealous of the name of* Great Eastern Highway? You think of some other name, and I'll approve of it. Mr. Johnson continued to express his resentment. Mr. Troy pointed out that Mr. John son's name did not appear in the files on the subject, nor did it appear that the local bodies had asked Mr. Johnson to make representations to the Minister on the subject. Had any such represen tations been made, he (the Minister) would have given them careful considera tion. ? i Approval to the declaration of the Belmont-road as the Great Eastern Highway had been given after consid eration of all the facts and at the re quest of the Main Roads Board. It was recommended by the Surveyor-General and the Under-Secretary for Lands. Mr. Abbett said lie strongly resented the Main Roads Board 'pinching' the nanie. coined by tho Perth Road Board. '1 don't propose to alter the name,' declared Mr. Troy emphati cally. 'That is where the matter stands.'' He said lie considered there was another purpose behind the deputation's move. He advised them to see the Minister for Works as to the declaration of the road as a main road, and later to ap proach him /again with another .name. ,