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Wednesday, 7 December 1927

Senator CRAWFORD (Queensland) (Honorary Minister) . - I think Senator Reid is out of order in discussing on these Estimates, expenditure on improvements and alterations at Yarralumla House.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Plain).The honorable senator is in order. There is an item in the Estimates for maintenance of Government House and grounds.

Senator CRAWFORD - Expenditure for that work was provided on the Loan Estimates. However, the honorable sena tor's protest will be communicated to the proper authority, and I hope it will b-j productive of good results.

Senator Reid - I was not sure that 1 should be in order, but I directed attention to the matter because the Minister for Works and Railways is responsible for the Estimates iu which these items art included.

Senator NEEDHAM(Western Australia) [5.14 |. - Senator Reid need make no apology for having mentioned the expenditure at Yarralumla House, aud the other three works to which he referred. This is not the first time that the Federal Capital Commission has endeavoured to drive a coach and four through the Public Works Committee Act. This matter was discussed in the Senate on a previous occasion, when the commission attempted to evade the provisions of the act. I agree with Senator Reid that the same tactics were adopted in connexion with the expenditure at the Governor-General's residence at Canberra. It would have been better to pull down Yarralumba House instead of spending so much moneY on it by making alterations and additions. That would have been much cheaper in the long run. I hope that. Senator Reid will not allow the matter to drop, but that he will persist in his endeavour to compel the Federal Capital Commission to observe the law.

Senator Crawford - The Works and Railways Department was not concerned in that expenditure.

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