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Thursday, 22 October 1964

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - Division No. 711, for which an amount of £3,884,400 is provided, is the vote for the weapons research establishments at Salisbury and Woomera. Sub-division 2, to which Senator Wright refers, covers all the administrative costs involved in supporting and conducting the Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury and the Woomera range. Many of the items and operational expenditures are classified. Therefore, I am not in a position to give the honorable senator any further information than that which is shown in the estimates. I am not competent, nor am I authorised, to make any further statement than that.

Senator Wrightalso referred to Division No. 777, to which Senator Cant also directed attention. Senator Wright pointed out that it was a new Division and asked whether any figure could be given of expenditures under this heading by other departments before the matter was brought under the control of the Department of Supply. I am told by my officers that we are not in a position to give the honorable senator the precise figures at this point of time. This estimate was based on the consolidation of estimates provided by other departments.

Senator Wright - I should have thought that anybody, before he could make an estimate of that sort, would have to collate the figures.

Senator ANDERSON - I should think the figures are available. The only point is that they are not available to me here at this moment. Senator Wright also raised a question in relation to the Department of External Affairs.

Senator Wright - Only as to the furniture removal expenses.

Senator ANDERSON - This matter is quickly disposed of, because this appropriation relates to the Department of External Affairs within Australia only. The activities of this Department outside Australia are not included in this estimate.

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