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Thursday, 9 November 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - I understand that when Senator Keating was Minister of Home Affairs he found some difficulty in getting supplies of seasoned timber for his Department, and initiated the policy of storing timber to be seasoned. Pursuant to that policy, last year two sums of £700 each were voted for New South Wales and Victoria, for the purpose of erecting sheds in which timber could be stored. In this Bill we are asked to vote £146 and £700 respectively to complete the sheds. In the case of Victoria, an extension of the original plan was found necessary; and that accounts for the Committee being asked to vote, for new service in Victoria, £544, as against £100 under the heading of New South Wales. The Departments are thoroughly satisfied with the results which have been gained by the adoption of this policy; so much so, that there is stored on the Federal Capital site£5,000 worth of timber, which has been purchased, and which is to be added to from time to time. I hardly think, however, that the time has arrived for the Commonwealth to adopt the ambitious proposal of Senator Lynch. Certainly in the Federal Capital Territory, or in the Northern Territory, we may do something in that direction. I agree with my honorable friend as to the necessity for obtaining cheaper timber for public purposes ; but I think that it is a matter which comes within the activities of the State Parliaments rather than of this Parliament.

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