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Tuesday, 25 October 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - The honorable senator's language upon this question is very exaggerated, and in his calmer moments I am sure he will recognise that the attitude which he is now taking up is a ridiculous one. The question which he asked was as to whether the Department was aware that such and such a thing had occurred? The Department had no information, so far as its inquiries had gone, that the incident in question had occurred, and I therefore asked the honorable senator to postpone his question to enable further inquiries to be made. Those further inquiries will be based on the information which has been supplied by him.

Senator Millen - That is not what the Minister of Defence said previously.

Senator PEARCE - It is. The misconception arises from the construction which the honorable senator has placed upon the words of the reply. The information supplied by him is not that which the Department has obtained. The honorable senator seems to think that the reply was intended as a reflection upon himself, which it certainly was not. The fact that he has supplied information to the Department has nothing whatever to do with the question. I desired him to postpone his question in order that further inquiries might be instituted by the Department - inquiries founded on the information which he has supplied.

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