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Wednesday, 2 November 1904

Sir GEORGE TURNER (BalaclavaTreasurer) - In the ordinary case, the next items we should have to deal with in Com- mittee of Supply would relate to the Attorney-General's Department. I said in my Budget Speech that the Minister of Defence desired to make an important statement regarding matters in his Department, and that he would do so on the Defence Estirr.ates. I find that according to the practice which we have adopted, when the Defence Estimates were called on, and the first item had been put from the Chair, the Minister would be able to make his statement; but it seems that it is impossible to postpone a particular item after it has been put. It would be unfair to ask honorable members to proceed with the. discussion before they have had an opportunity to consider the Minister's statement. It is a very important matter; Therefore, I would suggest that the Committee might give its concurrence to the Minister of Defence making his statement before the. first vote in connexion with the AttorneyGeneral's Department is considered. That would enable him to place his proposals before the Committee, and we could afterwards proceed with the consideration of the Estimates in the regular way.

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