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Friday, 10 November 1911


Senator SAYERS (QUEENSLAND) - I desire leave of the Senate, sir, to make a short explanation. Leave granted.


Senator SAYERS - When I was speaking in Committee on the Appropriation (Works and Buildings) Bill, last night I made a statement regarding the Small Arms Factory, and the Minister of Defence asked this question, " Will the honorable senator correct his statement that Commander Clarkson affirmed that American machinery was less durable?" I did not know at the time whether I had made such a statement or not; but in answer to the question I said " Yes." On referring to the report of my second-reading speech I find that I" did not mention Commander Clarkson at all. According to the report,' I 'said -

On page 4 of the paper from which I am quoting, there is a cablegram from Captain Collins, who stated - " War Office has been consulted. Like Birmingham oiler. Consider cost prohibitive compared other tenders." It seems that the Government regarded cheapness as the principal consideration; but we should have been making rifles in Australia long ago' if we bad accepted the other tender. Another portion of the document states, " American machinery will not stand wear," or words to that effect.

I cannot understand why the Minister said that I had made a statement about Commander Clarkson. What I referred to was a cablegram from Captain Collins.







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