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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

The CHAIRMAN - It would not be in order for the honorable member for Lang to misquote the honorable member for Bass, but I am sure that if he did so he did it unintentionally.

Mr JOHNSON - I did not profess toquote the remarks of the honorable member for Bass. I was merely stating what wasthe logical outcome of his contentions. He has put forward a most astounding proposition, and one to which I certainly cannot subscribe. Since he has been a member of the House he has very rarely advanced any reasons, intelligible or otherwise, for the votes which he has registered. For him to expect other honorable members to emulate his example is to expect too much'.. The principal point upon which I desire enlightenment has reference to the ordnance which! is to be mounted at. these two forts. I desire to know whether it is intended to mount 6-inch guns, 7.5-inch! guns, or 9.2- inch guns?

Mr Kelly - I do riot think it is necessary for the Minister to tell us that. But he should decide at once.

Mr JOHNSON -If we are asked to sanction the proposed expenditure to place 9.2-inch guns in position - guns which, when mounted, will be useless - we shall be absolutely throwing money away. I believe that a 6-inch gun and a 7.5-inch gun would be ample for all purposes, and would prove far more effective than would any 9. 2 -inch gun, especially in view of the peculiar situation of the Fremantle harbor from a naval stand-point. Rottnest Island interposes a natural barrier against the effective use of long-range ordnance.

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