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Tuesday, 29 November 1938

Mr NAIRN (Perth) .- Will the Attorney-General state why there has been so much delay in introducing an amending bankruptcy bill ? For two or three years, this matter has been before the Government and the Attorney-General's Department, and I do not know what circumstances could have arisen to prevent its introduction. Commercial men and others are asking for such legislation, and I trust that the Government will be able to introduce an amending bill at an early date.

There has been a substantial increase in the cost of the Patents Office. This year, the proposed expenditure is £8,000 more than the vote for last year. I am unaware that there has been an extraordinary increase of work, and I should like to know whether the additional expenditure this year is due to the transfer of the department toCanberra, and, if so, whether further increases may be anticipated ?

Mr Menzies - The transfer took place some years ago, before I was a Minister.

Mr NAIRN - I understand that the increase this year is due solely to salaries.

Mr Menzies - Owing to pressure of business, a great deal of overtime has been worked.

Mr NAIRN - I understand that the erection of a new patents office at Canberra is contemplated.

The substantial progressive increase of expenditure in this department should be investigated in order to determine whether it is justifiable.

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