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Thursday, 4 October 1956

Mr MENZIES - 1 imagine that the honorable member- is referring to a question put to me, 1 think on Tuesday- afternoon, by an honorable member opposite, and which I answered. I then dealt with that question and with no. other, which is- the rule of the House;- but now that the opportunity, has been given, to me. by the honorable member for Maribyrnong. 1 should- like to say that when I returned from abroad I had accumulated a certain amount of information and some ideas on the question of future defence policy. I took, the opportunity to sort oat my ideas over the week-end. I had a long conference with the Minister for Defence on Monday afternoon last and long discussions with Cabinet on Tuesday night, in consequence of which it has been agreed that the whole defence programme is to be reviewed in the light of certain circumstances. That, as we arranged on Tuesday night, will begin at a conference between the Minister for Defence, the three service Ministers, the three Chiefs of Staff and myself on Wednesday of next week. The whole purpose of that will be to have a complete revision from top to bottom of the ideas underlying the defence programme in the light of the circumstances now existing in the world.

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