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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) . - I do not agree with the contention of the honorable member for Lang in regard to this matter. Ample opportunities are presented to honorable members for discussing the calibre of the guns to be mounted for various purposes. I do not think that that information need be sought in this Committee. The honorable member has been good enough to venture an opinion as to the class of gun which should be mounted in these forts, but I think that there are verv few honorable members who will regard him as an authority upon that subject. I repeat that there are ample opportunities afforded honorable members of discussing the general question of armaments. Surely there is no need in connexion with a small item upon the Estimates to demand information as to the exact type of gun which is to be mounted in a certain fort.

Mr Kelly - We merely wish to know what the Government intend to do.

Mr FISHER - That is an entirely different matter. I agree with the honorable member for Lang up to a certain point. We ought to know the amount which is to be expended upon this work, but it is not at all necessary for the Minister to inform honorable members of the particular type of gun which is to be employed. If there were no other opportunities of gaining that information-

Mr Johnson - What other opportunities are there?

Mr FISHER - If a Government fails in its duty in the matter of the defence of the Commonwealth, it ought not to be permitted to remain in office.

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