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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator BRAND (Victoria) .- I should like to take Senators Leckie and Arkins to the munitions establishments at Maribyrnong and Footscray to see what is being done there. I do not suppose either of them has ever been there, and I am sure that they do not know of the developments which have taken place in these factories. Senator J. V. MacDonald, by way of interjection, said that the factories are not turning out gas masks. As a matter of fact, the facilities exist for gas masks to be turned out by thousands when required. As for lipsticks, they were manufactured in those factories during the depression period. The factories are now engaged in turning out 6-in. and 8-in. shells and all types of munitions required by a modern army. In regard to the statement by Senator Arkins, that no tabulation has been made of the various private factories throughout the Commonwealth, when I was the responsible officer at Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, a complete tabulation of all factories, showing what each was capable of producing was in course of preparation. All that the last speaker has said is bunkum. I invite honorable senators, when next in Melbourne, to go cut to the factories at Maribyrnong and Footscray, and see the plant there, the number of men employed, the amount of local raw material used, and the national work which is being done.

Senator ARKINS(New South Wales) f9.54]. - In reply to Senator Brand, I said at the outset that, if the Government had not taken these precautions, it should be ashamed of itself. I can only say now that, if precautions have been taken, I am pleased to know it. Senator Leckie, who is one of the best known men in manufacturing circles in Victoria, however, has told us a different tale.

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