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Wednesday, 12 May 1915

Mr JOSEPH COOK - I presume that there has been some communication between the Panama Commissioners and the Minister of External Affairs on the subject of the former's resignation. Will the Minister lay or. the table of the House any correspondence between himself and Mr. Deakin or Mr. Nielsen on this subject?

Mr MAHON - The correspondence is still going on, but, in a phrase rather favoured by the honorable gentleman and his associates, " the time is not yet ripe " for putting the whole of it on the table.

Mr JOSEPH COOK - Will the Minister of External Affairs inform the House whether the new secretary appointed to the Panama Commission was in the service of the Commonwealth, or whether he was taken from outside ? Who is he? Where does he come from? Will the Minister give us some particulars?

Mr MAHON - The new secretary, Mr. Oughton, is a young Australian, resident in San Francisco for some years, and he is very familiar with both American and Australian conditions. .

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