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Wednesday, 5 May 1915

Mr KELLY (Wentworth) .- I take it that this request for £100,000 is really the outcome of the special requirements brought about by the war situation.

Mr Jensen - That is so.

Mr KELLY - If that be so, my only comment is that we have been extraordinarily slow in dealing with the matter. We have been at war since last August, and it surely shows some slackness when we find the Government, some eight or nine months afterwards, coming forward with a suggestion to extend the factory to meet the abnormal position. I might be permitted to express disappointment, which I think will be shared by honorable members generally, at the slackness of whoever is responsible under the pressing circumstances. During the Boer war it was found possible to manufacture a very efficient field gun in Kimberley during the siege; but we in Australia have been content to sit down and wring our hands at our inability to manufacture what we require. The Minister of Defence must realize that the delay does not reflect any credit on the Department, and is hardly worthy of the people of Australia.

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