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Wednesday, 21 August 1912

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice- President of the Executive Council) . - I am very sorry that honorable senators are so prone to take notice of every, statement which appears in the press, irrespective of whether it be true or false. They ought to be careful to ascertain whether there is any; truth in the allegations published in the press before bestowing any attention upon them. Only to-day three or four questions, based on statements appearing in the newspapers, were put to Ministers. Like the Minister of Defence, I have no knowledge of any appointment such as that indicated by Senator Rae, having been made, and I think it would have been better if he had afforded vs an opportunity to institute inquiries in the right quarter before bringing the matter forward in the Senate.

Senator Millen - From whom should an honorable senator inquire if not from a Minister?

Senator McGREGOR - That statement appeared in the press this afternoon. It could have been privately inquired into long ago, and by this time information would have been forthcoming from the Minister of Home Affairs. To explode crackers of this description without first giving Ministers an opportunity of making inquiries in the proper quarter is only reattach undue importance to press statements

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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