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Thursday, 11 October 1956


Mr DRUMMOND (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I rise to make a personal explanation. Yesterday, I asked a question of the Minister for the Army (Mr. Cramer) concerning a matter in my electorate that has been dragging on for something like four years - although one particular aspect of it has been under discussion for only about eighteen months. In reply, the Minister stated that he had no knowledge of the matter. As the proceedings of this House were being broadcast when that reply was made, those of my constituents who heard it could only assume that I had not been in contact with the Minister. My practice is never to take up a Minister's time if a matter can be disposed of otherwise. At the time the Minister made that statement, I had in my possession a letter dated 22nd August. I also had the duplicate of another letter dated 25th September, in almost identical terms. Both purported to have been signed by the Minister, and they informed me that he was not in a position to give me a final reply. I do not expect the Minister to know all the details of his department, but I felt that it was necessary to bring this matter to the light of day in order to show there are -weaknesses, either in his office or in his -department, weaknesses that may be -duplicated elsewhere.







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