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Tuesday, 8 November 1904

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) - In this division there are a number of items about which honorable members should have information. I should like to know, for instance, what is meant by the item -

Expenses in connexion with the administration of the Electoral Act, £20,000.

Is that sum being voted to enable the Government to spread over three years the expenses of an election, or is it in addition to the expenses of an election? Then in regard to the item -

Cost of compilation and publication of a new edition of the Seven Colonies, £500 -

I think that it is time that the Commonwealth had a Statistical Department of its own. We now have to depend upon a State officer for all our statistical information, or, if we require up-to-date information, we can get it only through the Customs Department, after waiting a great deal of time for it.

Mr DAVID THOMSON (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) - A Commonwealth Statistical Department would cost more than the present arrangement.

Mr TUDOR - Yes; but, nevertheless, we should have a Department of our own, and I do not know any gentleman who would better fill the position of Commonwealth Statistician than the gentleman whom we now partly employ.

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