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Wednesday, 10 September 1913

Senator FINDLEY (VICTORIA) - Arising out of the reply which has been given, I desire to ask the Minister of Defence whether the statement which appeared in one of the daily newspapers of Melbourne withinthe last day or two to the effect that negotiations had almost been completed between the Government and the Union Steam-ship Company for the carriage of mails to Tasmania, and that it had been definitely arranged that another Loongana was to be built, is true ?

Senator MILLEN - I am unable to say what paragraph the honorable senator is referring to. I have not seen it, but if he wishes to bring it under my notice, I suggest that he should refer it to me.

Senator FINDLEY - Does the Minister think that that is an answer to my question? Surely he can say whether it is correct or incorrect that the Government have started or completed negotiations with this company, and whether the company have entered into negotiations for the building of another Loongana.

Senator MILLEN - I think that the Senate will recognise that I am in a sound position when I say that during the progress of negotiations it is not reasonable to expect that details shall be made public.

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