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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) . - I wish that a similar motion had been proposed in regard to the Parliament House at Canberra, and that a permanent structure, instead of a provisional building, had been proposed. It appears that although it is proposed to erect permanent administrative offices after calling for competitive designs, other buildings are first to be erected which may be used for administrative offices, and can then be dismantled and utilized for some other purpose.

Mr Stewart - No. I stated that those buildings would afterwards be used for other purposes.

Mr LATHAM - I will be interested to see the class of building that can be put up temporarily, readily, and inexpensively which will be suitable for administrative offices, and afterwards for some other use. I presume that the details will be laid before the House prior to the work being proceeded with. I hope that the competition for designs for the administrative buildings will be conducted in a more creditable way than former competitions.

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear I

Mr LATHAM - T have no doubt that the Minister will realize the necessity for this, and will fix conditions which will be suitable to the architects.

Mr Stewart - I am sure that the honorable member recognises that this Government is not responsible for what has happened in the past.

Mr LATHAM - I realize that. I think the Minister is aware that a tendency is evident amongst the architects of Australia to have nothing to do with any further work at Canberra. If proceeding with the erection of these buildings is to be made dependent upon obtaining competitive architectural designs, the Minister will realize how necessary it is that the wishes of the architects shall be consulted. I hope that the architects will not take the stand that they will refuse to have anything to do with future work at Canberra.

Mr Blakeley - We have had their assurance that they will not take that attitude.

Mr. -LATHAM.- I have some acquaintance with the position of the architects. I hope that the Minister will give the House an assurance that the views of architect3 will be considered, and that he will make every effort to plan a competition in which they will participate.

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