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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Senator CROFT (Western Australia) - In view of the large sum of public money which has been expended on the purchase of printing material and plant, I would suggest to the Minister of Defence that the timehas arrived when the Commonwealth might well establish a printing office of its own. It has purchased the most modern machinery, which has been installed in the Government Printing Office in Melbourne, and which is being used for State as well as Commonwealth purposes.

Senator Millen - For whichwe gel nothing.

Senator Playford - They give us the use of the whole of the building rent free and allow us to use a certain number of machines.

Senator Millen - But they charge us for the work which they do for us.

Senator CROFT - If it is held that the fact that the Victorian Government allow the Commonwealth to have the use of a tin shed, entitles them to the continuous use of our printing plant-

Senator Playford - They lend us the whole of their big office.

Senator CROFT - I have visited the printing works, and hold that the Victorian Government are pretty well suited with our up-to-date machinery. They get' along very well indeed with their work, and it is done in an improved manner, simply by reason of the fact that they have practically the free use of the latest printing machinery. I do not know that we are not justified in complaining of the present position. A few yearsago the Premier of this State, Mr. Bent, was growling at public functions about our using their Parliament House, and using offices belonging to, or rented by the State. If I had only to considermy own comfort, I would not thank the State Government for the use of this building. On page 6, in the second schedule, there is an item of £1,160 for machinery and plant for the Government Printing Office and works in connexion therewith. The fact that we are continually renewing this machinery, and that we have a very good plant established in the State printing-office, leads me to think that it would be far cheaper and better if the Commonwealth were to at once establish a printing works of its own in Melbourne.

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