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Friday, 22 May 1936

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) . - Like ' most other honorable senators who read a good deal, I have some ideas on the subject of defence, but the trouble' is that as soon as one type of offence is perfected, another is invented. Recently. I read the opinion of an authority that gas, terrible though it may be, is not the thing of which the world need be most afraid, because means are being devised for dropping bacteria from the skies, arid against the germs so liberated no mask would offer any protection at all. Even a large fleet of aeroplanes would be of little value if, as is suggested in the article, germs could be liberated in Australia from rockets fired from countries far distant. I do not think that anything other than the practice of Christian principle can save the world if these predictions are realized. It seems to me that, in addition to providing masks, we should dig a number of caves, or underground protections, as shelter for the people in the event of attack. This matter is one that might well be left to experts. The building of underground retreats is an important part of the Maginot line which France has constructed for its protection. Lt may be well to organize working-bees throughout the country to provide underground shelters.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Proposed votes- Department of Trade and Customs, £141,440; Department of Health, £29,240; Department of Commerce, £100,440; Miscellaneous Services, £177,070; War Services, £21,920- agreed to.

Commonwealth Railways.

Proposed vote,£128,900.

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