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Thursday, 6 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania.) . - Before the question is put, I desire to remind the Committee that the only thing we have heard from the Minister of Defence is that he believes he is correct in saying that a sum of £100 has been expended either on type or in printing. All we know is that we are asked to vote £1,500, and the Minister justifies the requestby saying that £100 has been, or is, going to be spent. Did Senator Playford not mention £100?

Senator Playford - I mentioned other items of expenditure as well. The honorable senator has not paid sufficient attention.

Senator CLEMONS - We get so little information from the Minister that I can assure him that I never miss any that he gives. The only expenditure that the Minister mentioned was that of £100.

Senator Playford - I started by mentioning the sum of £1,500.

Senator CLEMONS - That is the sum mentioned in the item ; and, as an instance of the expenditure, Senator Playford mentioned the £100, leaving unexplained the destination of the remaining £1,400.

Senator Playford - I did nothing of the sort.

Senator CLEMONS - Senator Findley is to be congratulated on having placed before the Seriate the state of confusion that exists in the Government Printing Office. I am not going to vote this £1,500, and thus add to the confusion, and to the difficulty in the way of identifying the machinery or type which belongs to the Commonwealth.

Senator Trenwith - There is, probably, three times as much State type as there is Commonwealth type used in conjunction.

Senator CLEMONS - Neither the Commonwealth nor the State desires to have the best or the worst of the bargain, and I am only calling attention to the state of confusion into which affairs have fallen. I shall oppose the item, simply because Senator Findley has made out a good case, and because we ought not to perpetuate such an unsatisfactory system.

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