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Thursday, 20 May 1915

Mr RICHARD FOSTER asked the Minister of External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Whether the Government has received any representations from the State Governments concerned in the Australian representation at the Panama Exhibition since the resignations of Messrs, Deakin and Nielsen?

2.   Has such representation been embodied in correspondence; and, if so, will he lay a copy of all correspondence concerning the resignations in question on the table?

3.   What is the estimated cost of Australia's representation; what proportion is paid by each State represented, and what proportion by the Commonwealth Government?

Mr MAHON - The answers to the honorable member's questions are -

1.   Yes. A letter was sent by the Premier of Victoria to the Prime Minister on the 18th inst., and a copy appears in the press of to-day.

2.   Correspondence is not yet completed: when it is the question of laying the whole file on the table will be considered.

3.   The estimated cost of the building, ocean freights, and general expenses of the Commission, is £30,000, of which £12,000 is paid by the Commonwealth, £8,440 by New South Wales; £6,510 by Victoria; and £3,050 by Queensland. In addition, a sum which has been roughly estimated at £50,000 has been found by the States for the purchase and preparation of exhibits, railway freights thereon, and separate State staffs at the Exhibition.

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