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Friday, 28 May 1915

Mr KELLY (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Prime Minister aware that the re-constructed Imperial Cabinet contains a Minister for Munitions who holds an office which has been specially created to expedite the manufacture and despatch of munitions of war? Is the right honorable gentleman of opinion that the statement of a responsible Minister in Australia that the appeal of the leaders of our Army and Navy at the front to the men in British workshops to hurry preparations in order to increase the efficiency of the forces in the field, is only bluff, ought to be cabled to England? Will the Prime Minister prevent that statement of the Minister of Defence from being cabled to England pending the Minister's reply to the question of the Leader of the Opposition?

Mr FISHER - I do not propose to stop the sending of any message that the cable censors may think fit to pass, and shall not intervene unless directed to do so by the House. I do not admit the inference' that has been drawn from the statement of the Minister' of Defence. The questions are based on political rather than national considerations.

Mr Joseph Cook - The Minister's statement had only one meaning.

Mr FISHER - There is a political vendetta against the Minister.

Mr Joseph Cook - No.

Mr McWilliams - If there is, it is being waged by members sitting behind the Prime Minister.

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