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Tuesday, 6 December 1938

Mr CURTIN (Fremantle) .- I suggest to the Treasurer (Mr. Casey) that he should report progress. It is very clear that the message relates to Estimates which are involved in the statement of expanded defence policy submitted to the House by the Minister for Defence (Mr. Street). The principles of that expanded defence policy are to be dealt with in the Loan Bill which the Treasurer is sponsoring, the debate concerning which has just been adjourned. I submit that until that matter is disposed of in principle the honorable gentleman ought not to ask us to proceed any further.

Mr Casey - The honorable member has seen the Estimates.

Mr CURTIN - I have heard the Treasurer's statement in regard to the financing of the programme and also the exposition by the Minister for Defence as to the necessity and the character of the expanded programme;but I submit that in order to preserve the deliberative capacity of this House, we should agree to the expanded programme in principle before we are committed to any of its details. I therefore suggest that progress be reported at this stage.

Mr Casey - I agree.

Progress reported.

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