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Thursday, 5 March 1942

Mr ROSEVEAR (DALLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Munitions whether theWar Expenditure Committee found as a fact that certain engineering works were collecting 1s. an hour machine time in respect of machines that are the property of the Commonwealth? As the result of these wrongful payments, have contractors received hundreds of thousands of pounds ? If so, has the officer responsible for the payments been retained in the Service ?

Mr.MAKIN. - I have not had the privilege of perusing the report of the War Expenditure Committee, which deals with this particular matter. In answer to a question asked by the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Morgan) last week, I promised that a statement would be made at the sittings to be held this week, in regard to the modified terms upon which machine tools hired under the costplus system are operating. I said that, if Icould, I would give the names of the firms which had been guilty of making the excess charge, together with the determination made by the department with respect to them. The department is engaged upon a thorough investigation of cases in which it is suspected that excess profit has been made on machine tools that have been hired. I am not yet able to make a detailed statement, or to intimate whether the assertions of the honorable member for Dalley can be verified. Immediately I am in a position to do so, I shall report the full facts to the House.

Later :

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