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Tuesday, 29 November 1938

Mr NAIRN (Perth) .- The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) has brought under the notice of the committee an item which I intended to mention. The additional expenditure should be explained. There is a general increase of £60,000 in the cost of the Prime Minister's Department. Apart from the additional cost of the High Commissioner's office, the expenditure of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is to be increased by about £33,000. That, by the way, is indicative of an expansion of the expenditure of this department that has been observable for some years. I notice that, under division 16, " Shipping and mail services to Pacific Islands," an increase of expenditure of about £12,000 is proposed. It is somewhat surprising also to find that the proposed vote for the Public Service Board shows an increase of about £2,600. Surely the work of this board should be static by this time. These items require some explanation. Apparently, the Government desires the committee to pass the Estimates almost enbloc. [Quorum formed.]

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