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Wednesday, 28 October 1914

Senator BLAKEY (VICTORIA) - Arising out of that reply, I desire to ask the Minister of Defence whether the fact has been brought under his notice that certain auctioneering firms in this State have been purchasing horses at a certain price, and reselling them to the Defence Department at a large profit to themselves ; and, if so, whether he will take steps to see that the practice is discontinued?

Senator PEARCE - Statements to that effect have been brought under my notice, but I may say that the system under which horses were being purchased by the Defence Department some time since has now been discontinued, and we have reverted to the practice previously in force of purchasing horses direct from the owners themselves. I have called for a return showing the number of horses that were purchased under the system outlined by the honorable senator, the cost of same, the number which had to be resold, and the loss incurred by the Department in such re-sales.

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