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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) .- In view of the statement of the Minister, I move -

That the consideration of items 16 and 17, sub-division 5, be postponed.

We should not be called upon to pass the items until the Minister is in possession of such information as will enable honorable members to know what they are voting for. I think that we are entitled to have the information asked for.

Mr Groom - It would involve the whole question of our coastal defence.

Mr JOHNSON - The question which I have asked refers particularly to the armament of these forts.

Mr Groom - Did I not tell the honorable member that the Department has not yet arrived at a decision upon that matter?

Mr JOHNSON - Then we are asked to vote money without knowing the purposes for which it is to be expended. Surely the Minister must know the amount which will be set aside for the purchase of the land ? Altogether, the proposals of the Government involve an expenditure of £87,000.

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