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Wednesday, 25 May 1904

Mr CROUCH (CORIO, VICTORIA) - No doubt the attention of the Prime Minister has been directed to the statement in the press that the General Officer Commanding has been using a private secret service code to send communications to the Imperial Government as' to matters affecting Australian Defence without submitting them to the Minister of Defence. The statement which first appeared was that the Minister objected to the course,' on the ground that he thought that an official of his Department should make known to him all correspondence sent to outside authorities; but in to-day's newspaper an amended statement appears to the effert that the Minister does not object to the course which is being pursued, so long as the Commonwealth is not asked to pay for the transmission of the cablegrams. Does not the Minister think it Wrong that an official employed by the Government should communicate information in regard to our defences to the Imperial authorities without making the nature of -that information known to the responsible head of his Der partment ?

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