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Friday, 22 June 1906

Senator DE LARGIE - The matter has nothing to do with the Government. I am convinced that no private caterer could' conduct the business and make a profit out of it. We had a case in point under theState Parliament, which let the rooms to a private caterer who actually ran himself into greater expense than we have done.

Senator O'Keefe - W - What are the New South Wales parliamentary refreshmentrooms costing?

Senator DE LARGIE - There is not aparliamentary refreshment-room in Australia that is paying. As Senator O'Keefehas mentioned, the trouble is that we only keep the rooms open for three days a reek whereas we have the full expense of maintaining the staff for the seven, days. There is no doubt that the rooms would be run at a profit if they were utilized every day in the week. I am convinced that they cannot be conducted better than they have been1. Unless we are prepared to make good a deficiency, I can see no alternativebut to close the refreshment-rooms. It hasbeen suggested that we should raise thetariff. That has been tried, and it was a/ failure. As soon as we raised the tariff many members went elsewhere, and consequently the loss was greater.

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