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Tuesday, 19 June 1906

Mr PAGE asked the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, upon notice -

1.   Whether in the Hawker Inquiry Board" Major Hawker denied that he had sent an order or paid for half-ton of coal in December from a local coal merchant named Priddle?

2.   Whether after the Minister had decided onhis case, Major Hawker sent written orders tothe Queenscliff Quartermaster Sergeant lo send such coal from the Bai racks to his private house ?

3.   Whether such half-ton was taken out of the public coal bin and sent by carter to Major Hawker's private house ?

4.   What action does the Minister propose lotake?

5.   Whether there is not now a large surplus of coal in the Barracks bins, and whether this does not arise from non-use of Government coa? by the officers?

Mr EWING - The answers to the honorable member's! questions are as follow : -

1.   Yes. 2 ,ind 3. The Commandant states that Mr.

Priddle demanded payment from Major Hawker for six bags of coal delivered at the Barracks in error during December last. Major Hawker paid the account, and issued instructions for the six bags to be sent to his quarters from the Barracks, which was done on the 26th ultimo.

4.   The matter is being inquired into.

5.   No. The District Commandant reports that if there is a surplus of coal at the end of the month it will arise from the fact that the authorized number of fires has not been availed of owing to the mildness of the weather.

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