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Tuesday, 6 September 1960

Mr HULME - In recent months, the Department of Supply has disposed of approximately 100,000 . 303 service rifles which have been declared surplus by the Department of the Army. Of that number, 82,000 were sold overseas, and the balance was sold in Australia. Generally speaking, at these sales, the prices tendered from overseas are higher than the prices offered in Australia. It has been suggested that we should not sell rifles to the public, but it seems to me that the problem of control presented by the sale of these rifles to the public is a matter for the State governments, through the various police departments. It has always been the policy to offer surplus rifles for sale to the public, because they are wanted in substantial numbers by kangaroo shooters, buffalo shooters, emu shooters, and the like. Furthermore, I think there is not likely to be a wholesale disposal to the general public because of police regulations, and the difficulty of obtaining ammunition and also its cost.

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