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Wednesday, 26 September 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) - - I merely desire to say that I did what I promised to do in this matter. I referred the case to the Attorney-General, asked him to look into the facts, and to furnish a report. 1 know nothing about the letter to which Senator demons has alluded, and which appears to be signed, notby the AttorneyGeneral, but by the Secretary for the Prime Minister's Department. It appears, as far as I can gather, that some inquiry has been made, and I think that we might wait until the Attorney-General has had an opportunity to investigate the facts before discussing the matter in the Senate.

Senator Clemons - May I interrupt the honorable senator topoint out that the letter says " I have to inform you that the matter was referred to the AttorneyGeneral." I have told the Senate what the Attorney-General thought about it. That is theposition.

Senator PLAYFORD - All that I have to add is the information that I have received from the Attorney-General. within the last few minutes. When the discussion commenced, I immediately made inquiries as to what had taken place, and I am informed that the Attorney -General, owing to pressure of work, has not been able to complete his investigations.

Senator Clemons - He has made none.

Senator PLAYFORD - The letter' quoted by Senator Clemons appears to start with the assumption that the AttorneyGeneral has considered the matter, and has come to a certain conclusion. I cannot understand it. All that I know is that immediately after the discussion commenced to-day, I wanted to know what the AttorneyGeneral had done, and made an inquiry. I think it would have been much better to wait until his report was received. I have urged him to prepare a report, and can do no more. I am not going to discuss the question further on the present occasion.

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