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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) .- A little while ago, when I ventured to request information from the Minister of Home Affairs, the honorable member for Bass told me, in effect, that it was my province, not to seek information, but to hold my tongue.

Mr Storrer - That is not a fact.

Mr JOHNSON - The honorable member said that I should trust the Minister. The gist of his unsolicited advice was that I should simply say to the latter, " Here is the money," and that I should ask no questions.

Mr Storrer - I did not say anything of the kind.

Mr JOHNSON - That was the purport of the honorable member's remarks. The advice which he tendered to me this afternoon he might very well take himself at the present time. But I will be a little more considerate to the honorable member than he was to me. I understand that he proposes that this item should be reduced by £5. I have spent some very agreeable hours in Launceston, and I can certainly indorse his statement that the post-office tower there is nothing but a very unsightly excrescence. I understand that it is popularly known as the " pepper-box," and it more nearly resembles that little domestic article than does anything else I can think of. I would point out, however, that if the item were reduced as proposed, other works in Tasmania might be affected. lt would perhaps be better for the honorable member for Bass to solicit the friendly offices of the Postmaster-General, and to personally suggest to him the improvements which he thinks desirable. I feel sure that the Postmaster-General will lend a sympathetic ear to his complaint The item is a remarkably small one, and I, for one, shall not oppose it.

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