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Thursday, 30 April 1942

Senator COLLINGS (QueenslandMinister for the Interior) . - in reply - Having risen several times,

I hope that honorable senators will not think that I was in a hurry to close this debate. I had a particular reason for wishing to speak, although I knew that that would mean closing the debate. It is raining heavily, and every one in Canberra is glad of that fact, for the rain is very much needed. A bus was waiting at the back door of Parliament House, and when I saw honorable senators leaving the chamber one by one, I endeavoured to inform them of that fact in order to save them walking to their hotels in the rain. That was the reason for my apparent haste in rising to close this debate. The bus is still waiting and honorable senators are at liberty to make use of it if they wish.

The matters raised by various honorable senators on the adjournment have been noted carefully and they will receive attention. .Senator Aylett said that- he had to have an answer to his question regarding meat delivery to-night, but I am afraid that that cannot be given. With all respect, I suggest that many matters such as that raised by Senator Aylett could be settled by means of a quiet talk with the Minister concerned.

Senator Aylett - I tried that.

Senator COLLINGS - In any case, it is impossible for the honorable senator to have an answer to-night.

There is another matter to which I should like to refer briefly. I suggest to Senator MoBride that we shall not get anywhere by saying unkind things about the Government which is now in office, or about its predecessors. Surely, it is possible to deal with matters such as that to which the honorable senator referred without indulging in recriminations. It cannot be denied that the previous Government was not confronted with such a grave situation as exists to-day, and for that reason, it is useless to compare what was done then with what is being done to-day. It is also wrong to suggest that there has not been a speeding up of production in every direction.

Senator McBride - There is no sign of it in this case.

Senator COLLINGS - There is; hundreds of men have been trained.

Senator MCBRIDE - Not as toolmakers.

Senator COLLINGS - Yes. They are being trained at. the technical school at Canberra. Nothing is to be gained by broadcasting these matters, and that is the effect of ventilating them in this chamber. I suggest to Senator McBride that he have a talk with the Minister representing the Minister for Munitions. Had the honorable senator done so earlier in the day he could have ascertained just what the position was. The Minister representing the Minister for Monitions was sitting alongside me when Senator McBride was speaking, and bc said to me, " I have a complete answer to the statements that are being made". I told him not to give the answer to-night because it was the duty of the appropriate officers to take note of matters raised, in order that they might be attended to.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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