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Thursday, 10 November 1921

Senator ELLIOTT (Victoria) .- I would like to take this opportunity to refer to a document which was laid on the .table of the Senate yesterday, and was reported in the press as 'being explanatory of the Defence Estimates. It sets forth, amongst other things, that the Defence Department is establishing a research factory, and is going to spend a large amount of money in that direction and on ordnance stores. I would like to ask whether this Supply Bill commits senators in any way to that policy, or whether the Department will wait until the Estimates havebeen before Parliament and formal approval of the Government's policy has been obtained.

Senator Russell - I am assured that there is no such item in the Bill as that to which the honorable senator refers.

Senator ELLIOTT - If we pass this Bill, I take it that we shall not be committing ourselves to the policy of the Government ?

Senator Russell - The question will have to come up on the Estimates. The Bill now beforethe Committee relates only to monthly supplies, and everything in it has been approved by Parliament.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Department of the Navy (£257,805), Department of the Navy and Defence (Air Services) (£7,650), Department of Trade and Customs (£93,010), and Department of 'Works and Railways (£103,985), agreed to.

Postmaster-General's Department.

Proposed vote, £967,705.

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