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Friday, 11 December 1914

Senator MILLEN - You will find all through that contingencies is about the most formidable item.

Senator O'KEEFE - I remind the honorable senator that that is generally the case, no matter what Government or Minister is in office. I think it is a pertinent question to ask : What do contingencies include ? I take it that the amount which we are asked to vote for salaries covers the salary of the High Commissioner and his staff.

Senator Turley - Oh, no. The salary of the High Commissioner is provided for under a separate Act.

Senator O'KEEFE - At any rate, whatever term is covered by the salaries which are here set down, will also be covered by contingencies.

Senator Keating - Are not the contingencies set out in the Estimates?

Senator O'KEEFE - They may be, but we have not much time to refer to the Estimates.

Senator Gardiner - We have days in which to pass the Bill.

Senator O'KEEFE - But the VicePresident of the Executive Council will be better pleased if we pass it this afternoon. There is just one other item upon which I desire a little information. It will be found under the heading of Papua - "Development of oil-fields, £4,000." Can the Vice-President of the Executive Council tell us what are the prospects of the ultimate development of payable oil-fields in this Territory.

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