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Friday, 31 October 1913

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - Senator Russell has touched upon an important point. I would go further, and say that Australian timber should be used wholly in defence buildings. It ought to be the policy of the Australian Government to use Australian materials and products to the utmost. On one or two occasions I have approached Ministers in connexion with the building of Customs-houses, postoffices, drill halls, and so forth, in Western Australia, and have suggested the use of Western Australian timbers. I am glad to say that that has been done to a considerable extent. The policy ought to be generally adopted.

Senator BARNES(Victoria) [3.121.- In connexion with the vote for woollen mills, I have been informed that one or more Commonwealth officers have been travelling in the Old Country. I should like to know what there business is? There are rumours that part of .their mission was to engage labour for the mills when in operation. But there are at present in Australia, I understand, a number of men who are quite competent to fill any position in a woollen mill, from operating -any portion of the machinery to managing the concern. I should like to know whether arrangements have been made to engage labour in. England. I am satisfied that the Australian workman is well qualified to fill the bill; and unless there are powerful motives for engaging persons from other parts of the world, I disapprove of the policy.

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