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Tuesday, 28 June 1921

Senator FAIRBAIRN (Victoria) . - I ask the leave of the Senate to withdraw the motion. I am glad to have heard the Leader of the Senate say that he is taking a sympathetic note of Senator Gardiner's wise suggestion, because I agree with Senator Gardiner that the consideration of the Estimates is a very inconvenient time to deal with a great question of this sort. If we are to do any real good with preventive medicine - which, I understand, is to be the great idea of the new Health Department - the subject will need the most serious consideration. Senator Keating has suggested that it can be dealt, with on the Supply Bill.

Senator Keating - I thought that the expenditure referred to might be included in the Supply Bill, and that in passing the Bill we might be committing ourselves to it.

Senator FAIRBAIRN - I donot think the Minister is in a position to put the matter clearly before Parliament,even within the next day or two.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - There is nothing in the Supply Bill which touches this question.

Senator FAIRBAIRN - Probably the matter could not be debated properly at such short notice. I support Senator Gardiner's suggestion that the proposal ought to be made the subject of aseparate Bill. It is a great departure for the Commonwealth to take up a new sphere of action, and we. must see that our -Health Department does not conflict with existing State activities. If' we are to fulfil our duties to the people we represent, we must know what it is -going to cost, and all about it.

Senator Keating - We want as much information aboutitas about the Air Service.

Senator FAIRBAIRN - We do, and evenmore.Ihope the Governmentwill see theirway toset apart time for a thorough discussion of- this matter, -and, indeed, of all matters involving the further expenditure of money.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

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