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Tuesday, 30 May 1939

Mr WARD (East Sydney) .- I do not feel disposed to allow this matter to remain where it is at the moment. Earlier in the consideration of this measure, I addressed certain observations to honorable members of this chamber and followed them to-day by asking a question without notice, in an endeavour to find out exactly what powers the Government would possess under this measure with regard to inspecting the books and accounts of private firms engaged in the manufacture of war equipment, and thus ascertaining what profitsare being made. It is very important that honorable members should know what the powers of the Government would be in this direction, so that we may ascertain whether or not the Government is genuine and sincere in its expressed desire to limit profits. Obviously, unless the Government wereclothed with adequate authority to send inspectors into private establishments with power to demand that they should have supplied, for examination, all books and accounts, then it is of no use talking' about limiting profits, and the time of this committee is merely being wasted.. I should like the Minister for Supply and Development (Mr. Casey) to give the committee some indication, at least,, of what powers the Government would possess with regard to the making of" the very necessary inquiries into the affairs of those people who would be engaged in the 'manufacture of defence equipment.

Amendment agreed to.

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