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Tuesday, 12 December 1911

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - I was one of the party which inspected this site, and I am glad to know that the Government are taking steps to procure it. In London, access to the High Commissioner's office has to be gained by means of a lift, and if that be out of order one has to climb a staircase. I am sure that a stranger would not know where to find his office. Indeed, I had some dfficulty in finding it myself. As a result, I suggested to the Prime Minister that if the Government desired to do anything at all in the way of securing office accommodation in London they should do it on a scale befitting the importance of the Commonwealth. I would like to see all the Australian offices in that city concentrated under one roof. Although Canada has not a large building there, such as we propose to erect, she has very large windows, in which are exhibited samples of all her exports. But the only place at which any Australian exports are exhibited is on the ground floor of the office of the AgentGeneral for Queensland in the Strand. I can confirm the statement of Senator Vardon that the proposed site is a splendid one. Considering its position, I think that it is fairly cheap, and that the Commonwealth, in purchasing it, will be making a good business deal. I believe that it will increase in value as time goes on, and I have no doubt that any portion of the buildings which we may not require for Commonwealth offices will readily let to private individuals. Although the expenditure proposed is large, I feel confident that ere long the people will realize that we have made a good bargain.

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