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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2178

Mr McWILLIAMS (Franklin) . - I regret that I cannot support the amendment. However beneficial the taking over- of the astronomical branch might be, my position is that, if it were allowed to remain under the control of the States, the latter, in the time of financial pressure, would be able, if necessary, to retrench it. On the other hand, if we take it over, Tasmania, in common with the other States, will have to pay her share of the cost, and it will be beyond the reach of the State Government. I recognise that, if we could afford it, it would be advisable to take over the complete Department, but, having regard to the position of Tasmania, I am not prepared to support anything that would increase its financial embarrassment, which, judging by the Budget statement delivered last night, will be very severely felt.

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