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Tuesday, 30 September 1902

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think that it is of the greatest importance that the Commonwealth should have a statistician of its own at the earliest moment. The compilation of statistics affecting the Commonwealth and the States should be under our own control, and the information when compiled might be made available to both Commonwealth and States authorities.

Sir William Lyne - The matter has been discussed by the Cabinet, but it was considered that it would be necessary to pass an Act before we could do what the honorable member suggests.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not see why the passing of an Act should be necessary, but in any case, the arrangement should be made as soon as possible. The last edition of the Seven Colonies of Australasia does not contain figures of a later date than 1900, and I am glad to hear that a new edition is shortly to be issued. The work has been of immense value to us in the discussion of

Commonwealth affairs, and has indeed become an absolute necessity, but there is still a great deal of detailed information which we cannot obtain from it, and for which we have to search the Statistical Registers of the States. The sooner all statistical information is collated by a Commonwealth bureau, the better it will be for everybody. lt will mean more expense to the Commonwealth, but it will result in savings to . the States, and, I think, bring about more accurate and complete compilation.

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