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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) .- An amount of £8,500 is pro vided for " Erection of Memorial at Canberra to Hi3 late Majesty King George V." A footnote discloses that the total estimated cost of the proposed memorial is £20,000. Not long ago, the Leader of the Government (Senator Pearce) brought this matter before the Senate, and said that the Government proposed to appoint a committee consisting of three or five gentlemen possessing artistic knowledge of the requirements for such a memorial. If I remember rightly, in reply to Senator Brand, the right honorable senator said that, as the memorial was of national or Empire significance, it was desirable that designs should be submitted. At the time, I suggested that a competition should be arranged which would enable artists throughout Australia to submit designs.

I regarded it as a mistake for the Government to appoint such a committee, as its members might not consider the submissions of young artists who had not achieved fame. I hope the Minister will be able to inform us if the Government has made any change of plans in this respect which would permit the consideration of designs submitted by artists from all parts of Australia. I remind the Minister that artistic conceptions are continually changing, and that Australia is on the threshold of a remarkable artistic era. Young artist3 should be encouraged, and they should be afforded every opportunity to submit, in competition with others, the artistic creations of their brains for perpetuation in a national memorial.

Something more than the appointment of a committee is needed. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Sir George Pearce) said that he would consider the suggestions made by Senator Brand and myself, and, if possible, Australian artists should have an opportunity to submit competitive designs.

Senator Collett - Can the Minister (Senator A. J. McLachlan) say if the Government has decided upon a site and a design for the proposed memorial to His late Majesty King George V.

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