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Friday, 27 July 1906

Mr GLYNN (Angas) .- According to the explanation of the Prime Minister, it would seem that the power of purchase is being given to the PostmasterGeneral as a mere accident, because we have no Admiralty to which to give that power. He would makeit appear that the object is, in both cases, the same. If this is so, it would surely be within the ability of the draftsman to declare that the mail steamers are to be purchased only for belligerent purposes. That could have been provided for without using the name of any Minister. In my opinion, the alteration has been made deliberately, with a view to giving the Commonwealth power to purchase the mail steamers forgeneral commercial purposes, as well as for defence. The Prime Minister's explanation would make it appear that the Government did not intend to take that power, but were forced to do so because there is no Admiralty here.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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