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well into the following year. Visiting the newsroom, I told the editor that the Minister's office had not indicated any such delay. He shook his head, and said that his information was from a reliable source.

Checking with Cox's staff, I finally got an admission   that the "Freshwater" was running slightly behind schedule and was now due to arrive in October. The election was expected in September or October.  

The prospect of the ferry not appearing before the election filled us with horror. A few weeks could make all the difference in its value to us for winning  votes. Surely things could be speeded up. I contacted Peter Cox and urged him to intervene. His reply was that the unions were aware of the importance of the ferry to the electorate of Manly.

In my propoganda, I accordingly adjusted the projected delivery date of the ferry from August to October. Meers countered by claiming that my "promise" would be broken, and that the ferry could not be delivered for years.

The lunch for Wran was arranged for July 3. A few days before David Hurley rang to tell me that Cox had just learned that the  Daily's source had been correct -- work on the "Freshwater" was running at least six months behind schedule.

The Dockyard management had been able to keep this vital information from the minister for months. The Liberals obviously had reliable spies at the dockyard;

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