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Tuesday, 30 September 1902

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I noticed a statement in one of the newspapers to-day that a mantelpiece to cost £100 was to be placed in the Commonwealth offices in Sydney ; but there is - not a scintilla of truth in it, and no foundation for it. When I spoke to my Under-Secretary on the subject this morning, the only thing that he could imagine had suggested it was a reply which. I caused to be sent to a request from certain persons connected with a marble quarry on the Macleay that their marble should be used in any works in which marble was required by the Commonwealth. That reply was as follows : - - I have the honour, by direction of the Minister for Home Affairs to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 19th ultimo, relative to marble which you have recently quarried from the Kempsey district, Macleay River, and to inform you- that if any is required, and it is good and cheap, the Government of tho Commonwealth will be pleased to see Australian products in competition with imported material.

I cannot but think that the person who wrote the paragraph referred to, either deliberately wrote what he knew to be untrue, or did not exercise the discretion which one in his position* should have exercised.

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