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Thursday, 12 August 1926

Senator GRANT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for

Home and Territories (Senator Glasgow) aware that Senator Elliott some little time ago made on the floor of this chamber the statement that the Federal Capital Commission insisted upon the use of roofing material costing 100 per cent. more than that locally made at Canberra, in connexion with the pro nosed buildings in the civic centre? If so, does he concur in that arrangement? If he does not, will he take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the use of the roofing material which is manufactured at Canberra?

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW.I communicated with the Chairman of the Commission regarding Senator Elliott's statement, and have received a reply. I ask leave to make a statement up an the matter.(Leave granted.) This is the reply-

In reply to yourpersonal letter dated the 6th instant regarding Senator Elliott, his business block, and his tiles, it is a fact that the Commission has specified Roman tiles for the two Civic Centre blocks. The reason for this is that the style of architecture is what is commonly known in architectural circles as Florentine, and we should be committing a distinct architectural offence if we specified Marseilles tiles.

The two Civic Centre business blocks are being built in accordance with a set design, a copy of which Mr. McLaren has in his office.

There are many owners involved in the trans action, and the Commission, in order to secure uniformity in treatment, has had tolay down the architectural essentials, which it arrived at after consultation with its Committee of Public Taste.

It is a matter of absolute certainty that had we insisted upon Marseilles tiles for this type of architecture, we should have been the laughing-stock of the architectural " world " of Australia. ....

It is ... . interesting to find that the first lessee to call for tenders for the two-storey building, in accordance with our architecture and his general structural and internal design, is entering into a contract this week to have buildings put on two 20-f t. blocks at a cost of £1,648 each, including Roman tiles. It is also interesting to note that we are at this moment making inquiries into the question of importing our tiles from Melbourne instead of from, Sydney, until such time as we take up the running ourselves again. The cost of tiles in Sydney is roughly. £10 per 1,000 more than in Melbourne, owing to the operations of the officially non-existent tile ring.I give below figures which show the relative cost of Roman and Marseilles tiles, and the effect which it has on the cost.

There is a difference in the cost of £35 in favour of Marseilles as against Roman tiles.

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