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Thursday, 28 June 1906
Thursday, 28 June 1906

Mr.Speaker took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.


Mr. WATK INS. - Is the Minister representing the Minister of Defence now in a position to answer the question which I asked on Tuesday last, about the issuing of long service medals to the members of the Naval Brigade?

Mr. EWING.- I find that the question as to the power of the Department under the Defence Act to issue such medals is st ill awaiting decision by the Crown Law officers, but their answer is expected almost at once, and the honorable member will be informed directly it is obtained.


Mr. KELLY.- In this morning's Argus the Minister of Defence is reported to have said to an interviewer -

Why should the Council of Defence have been called together oftener?.......

They are a council that advise on questions of policy, and only need meet when policy is being discussed. During my administration they have met twice- on the same question. They met to consider Captain Creswell's report - the one recommending a licet. .Then they mct again to consider the report of Colonel Bridges on the same subject. And the two reports were so diametrically opposite that everybody was in a fog.

I wish to ask the Minister representing the Minister of Defence whether there is any reason why Parliament and the press should have been furnished with the favorable report, while the report condemnatory of the proposal to establish a Commonwealth Fleet was suppressed ? Will he lay Colonel Bridges report on the table of the House ?

Mr. EWING.- As I am not prepared to answer the question right off, I ask the honorable member to give notice of it for to-morrow.

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