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Tuesday, 27 September 1904

Mr BROWN (Canobolas) - It is very amusing to hear ex-Ministers complaining of the neglect of the Departments over which they have had control. Their experience while in office should be of value to the House now that they are in the cool shade of opposition for a little time. Ever since the Federal authorities took over the control of the Post and Telegraph Department this has been a stock grievance. On ailmost every application for ways and means this has been the one subject of grievance under consideration. It is strange that the honorable gentlemen who have been ia charge of the Department were unable while they had control to rectify the grievances they discovered. Apparently during the time they had control of the Department they sat under them quite contented. 1 welcome their assistance in debating the subject from our side of the question, and I trust that it will result in the men on the land, and people int he country districts generally, getting some little consideration. I desire to ask the Treasurer whether any provision is made in the measure before us to meet the expenses of the Royal Commission which recently inquired into certain matters which occurred in New Guinea. If such provision is made in the Bill, I should be glad if the right honorable gentleman would inform the Committee as to what was the cost of the Commission. We should have some information upon the subject,- and even if the vote for the Commission is not included in this proposal, itwill be of some interest and value to the community if the right honorable gentleman will make a statement of its cost.

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