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Wednesday, 5 May 1915

Mr CARR (Macquarie) .- As this proposal is one that vitally concerns an industrial centre of my electorate, I feel that I ought to say a word or two upon it, and particularly upon the suggestion of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro that national works should not be confined to one locality. I take it that his suggestion is merely one of his characteristic serio-comic efforts which we may dismiss from our consideration.

Mr Austin Chapman - The honorable member ought to be a good judge of that sort of thing. He often indulges in it here.

Mr CARR - The honorable member need not get excited. This question was thoroughly threshed out before the Small Arms Factory was established at Lithgow.

Mr SPEAKER - I ask the honorable member not to enter into an argument regarding the establishment of works there. The proposal before us is one to refer a certain work to the Public Works Committee.

Mr CARR - I was under the impression that, in view of the proposed extension of the Small Arms Factory, the question of where it should be established naturally arose. If it does not, I merely wish to say that, situated as it is, behind the natural ramparts of the Blue Mountains, with deposits of iron, coal, and shale in close proximity, 'no better site could be desired. We all recognise the necessity which exists for getting a move on in regard to our supply of armaments. There are facts connected with this matter which, in view of existing conditions, it would not he wise to discuss here. But I heartily welcome any suggestion which would have the effect of facilitating the manufacture of armaments. I do not think that it becomes honorable members to raise the slightest question upon this proposal. If the Government undertook the extension of the factory of their own volition, and without referring the matter to the Public "Works Committee, their action would be abundantly justified. I object to the delay which will be involved in the procedure which is now proposed.

Mr McWILLIAMS (FRANKLIN, TASMANIA) - We have waited for months - surely we can wait a few weeks longer.

Mr CARR - Even a day or two in the arrival of armaments at the front may mean all the difference between the loss and the saving of valuable lives. This is not a proposal which should be discussed. It should be agreed to without debate.

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