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Thursday, 29 September 1955

Mr HAYLEN (Parkes) .- Only one minute is left in which to comment upon the speech of the Minister for Defence (Sir Philip McBride). Every honorable member must be disappointed with the way in which he dealt with the proposed reduction of the defence vote. He gave us a recital such as we would expect from a purchasing agent - so many ships here, so many units there and al] that sort of thing. We are asking him, " How are you spending the money ? Are you spending it in the light of modern strategy, or are you making the same old mistakes?" There are two Ministers concerned with defence - the Minister for Defence, and the Minister for Defence Production (Sir Eric Harrison). Like Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, they sit on the front benches grinning at the criticism from this side of the chamber, and refusing to give the people of Australia information on how these millions are being spent, or to explain why there is so much wastage. The Minister for Defence began with a weary recital such as a purchasing agent would give and finished with a peroration of what Rahman, the new leader in Malaya, had said in regard to these things. We have had no satisfaction on the questions that we have raised, and we are not likely to get it.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Order ! The time allotted for consideration of the proposed votes for the Department of Defence, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Army and the Department of Air, has expired.

Question put -

That the vote proposed to be reduced (Mr.Crean's amendment) be so reduced.

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