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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr HUTCHISON (Hindmarsh) . - I cannot say that the Treasurer's reply is satisfactory to me. I have been a practical printer all my life, and have had experience in every branch of the trade. I have also had some experience in regard to the working of the Government Printing

Office in South Australia. I can assure honorable members that it is conducted upon anything but an economical scale, and that there is room for radical alteration there. I do not allege, however, that that is the case in regard to the Government Printing Office in Victoria. I know that in adding plant to that office-

Sir John Forrest - It will belong,to the Commonwealth.

Mr HUTCHISON - Exactly ; but, in the course of a few years, it will be quite useless.

Sir John Forrest - We use their plant, too.

Mr HUTCHISON - The plants in the Printing office are depreciating very rapidly. The Treasurer will find that if he makes a 20 per cent, reduction in the value every year, he is not making too large an allowance.

Mr Mcwilliams - Surely the honorable member does not expect the Victorian Government to supply the Commonwealth with a plant for nothing !

Mr HUTCHISON - No; and the Commonwealth pays for all its printing. If we did not have any plant in that office, our printing could be done for much less in an office of our own. We really do not know what our printing costs. I do not know whether we are paying a high figure or not, but I am aware that the bound volumes of parliamentary' papers and Hansard are not produced as expeditiously as they should be. I only received my volumes of Hansard a few days before the beginning of this session, and some honorable members had not received their copies even at that time. I am quite satisfied with the manner in which Hansard is produced during the session. The expenditure is increasing so rapidly, that we ought to be careful in regard to every item. If it were not proposed to increase, the expenditure by £10,000 for one purpose, £50,000 for another, and £25,000 for, say, deporting kanakas, I should have no objection to this small item. It is high time, I think, that honorable members took more interest ira the Estimates for works and buildings, inorder to see that unnecessary expenditure is not incurred. The country is entitled to the information for which I have askedI shall have more to say on the subject when we are dealing with the Estimates ire chief.

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