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Wednesday, 23 March 1904

Mr DEAKIN (BALLAARAT, VICTORIA) (Minister for External Affairs) - What may be- termed the negotiations commenced with a proposition submitted by the Queensland Government, with a view to secure the assistance of other States in maintaining their meteorological bureaux. The other States, however, -declined- to contribute, and the Queensland Government then made arrangements of its own, which, I believe, have since been terminated. These were the only negotiations worthy of the name, and the net result has been that the State of Queensland alone has ceased to present its local weather reports from data generally derived. In connexion with the correspondence which took place with the various States last year, we obtained from them a statement of the work undertaken by their observatories, and an expression of their wishes with regard to the future establishment of a meteorological bureau by the Federal Government. They were not in complete agreement upon the matter, and the figures submitted evidently needed a good deal of analysis in order to determine the reasonable cost of maintaining such a bureau. In view of the fact that all the States, except Queensland, have continued to publish their local forecasts, the establishment of a Federal bureau has not been regarded as a matter of immediate urgency, and as it would involve further expense, it would have to be carefully looked into. I fully admit that a weather-forecasting bureau would be an essential part of an agricultural bureau such as we intend to establish.

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