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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) - In connexion with the votes for rifle clubs and associations. I observe that New South Wales receives £2,000 ; Victoria, £1,375; Queensland, £1,500; South Australia, £200 ; Western Australia, £350; and Tasmania, £150. This affords an opportunity for Senator Stewart to exercise his craze for economy. The State which he represents appears to dip alts hand info the Commonwealth purse more deeply than does any other State in proportion to the number of riflemen. On the strength of her rifle clubs she is only entitled to something like£500.

Senator Drake - Perhaps she has encouraged rifle shooting more than any other State.

Senator DE LARGIE - As a matter of fact, the number of riflemen in Queensland is just about the same as in South Australia; that is to say, there are 2,918 in Queensland, and 2,803 in South Australia. Yet South Australia receives only £200, andQueensland receives £1,500. Senator

Stewart and Senator Givens have been doing their best to economize in many directions. Now they have an opportunity. Queensland is getting more than she is entitled to get. I am satisfied that Senator Stewart will not be a party to anything of that kind.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - This is one of the matters we took over from the States. Queensland had divided her territory into a number of districts, in which rifle associations had been formed. We do not think it right to diminish the amount formerly paid by the State Government. And as was admitted to me by a gentleman in Adelaide, who is connected with military matters and rifle associations, with whom I was talking over the matter, there is some justification for a larger amount being paid in Queensland. She has an immense territory, with a population extending along a coast-line hundreds of miles in length. Each district has its own. rifle association. We are only too pleased to give these associations money to encourage them to perfect their rifle shooting. But there is no doubt that the amounts voted to South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales are not on a fair basis, My attention was not called to the subject until I had been Minister of Defence for some time. I have since looked into it, but I do not wish to decrease the amount voted to Queensland. She is entitled to much consideration on account of her peculiar position. But in justice to the other States, we must increase the amount voted to them, and if I have the honour to draw up the Estimates next year, honorable senators will see a change made in this direction.

Senator Givens - It is transferred expenditure; Queensland is paying the money.

Senator PLAYFORD - Of course Queensland pays for it; butwe ought to encourage rifleshooting in the other States on the same lines.

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