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Friday, 22 July 1921

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - I wish to direct attention to the item £630 for Bureau of Commerce and Industry. This matter was discussed yesterday in connexion with another Bill, and I can easily understand that the Minister (Senator Russell) representing the Minister for this Department is not fully acquainted with all the details. For instance, Senator Russell said yesterday that , the functions of the Bureau of Commerce and Industry were not in any way comparable with those of the proposed Tariff Board. But both Departments will be administered by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene), and if honorable senators will examine the functions assigned to them they will sec that they are. similar in many respects. The amount provided in this Bill represents two months' expenditure, or a total of about £4,000 a year. I understand that the chairman receives £1,500 a year, and, as the Bureau does not meet very often, it is comparatively expensive. The Minister, I think, would be well advised to give attention to the desire of the Senate and" see if these two Departments cannot be amalgamated.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Department of Works and Railways.

Proposed vote, £125,810.

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