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Friday, 25 November 1910

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) . - Now that the Federal Capital site has been definitely chosen, I fail to see any reason why we should incur a heavy expenditure upon public works required by the Commonwealth, except within the area that is embraced by the Federal Territory. Yet on these Estimates I see that, under the heading of Defence, an expenditure of £18,800 is contemplated upon the small arms factory at Lithgow. If I had my way, I should remove that factory, and also the cordite factory at Footscray, to the Federal Territory.

Senator Fraser - We should then have haulage both ways.

Senator GIVENS - Haulage of what?

Senator Fraser - Of hardware. Senator GIVENS. - The honorable senator's interjection reminds me of the story of a Yankee prospector who, when Nevada was discovered, entered the shop of a Jewish storekeeper and purchased a needle, for which the storekeeper charged him 5s. He remonstrated with the Jew, and exclaimed, " Why, back east I could buy a hundred needles for a few cents.," to which statement the storekeeper replied, " Oh, but it is de carriage, mine friend." I believe that all these buildings should be located in Federal Territory, where they will be completely under Commonwealth control. The proposal to erect an expensive building in Melbourne - seeing that the Federal Capital site has already been definitely chosen - is a little bit strong. I see no earthly reason why buildings should be erected in Melbourne any more than they should be erected in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, or Brisbane. Must we placate or bribe the capital cities of the States? After the Seat of Government has been established at Yass-Canberra, we shall require no buildings in Melbourne, except thedepartmental offices. None of the offices, of the central staffs will be located here. Consequently, I protest against Commonwealth works and buildings being constructed outside the Federal Territory. The Government will be well-advised if they adopt the policy of erecting within the Federal Territory all the buildings which the Commonwealth may require, thereby increasing the value of Commonwealth property without arousing State jealousies.

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