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Tuesday, 25 October 1910

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . - This afternoon, I asked a question in connexion with dishonoured Commonwealth cheques, to which the Minister of Defence replied - .

So far as the inquiries have proceeded, the Department of Trade and Customs has not obtained any information; but in order to enable further inquiries to be made I ask the honorable senator to postpone the question.

I take exception to that answer, because I supplied the Department with the source of the information upon which I based my inquiry. It is the following paragraph, which appears in the Daily Mercury, of 13th October last, and which is headed " No Credit "-

We learnt yesterday that considerable inconvenience was being caused to someof the farmers through the absence of reimbursements from Brisbane to meet bounty cheques. Such a state of affairs has existed during the past couple of days, and cheques have been returned by the local bank marked "present again." Possibly the vote for supply has not yet been put through the Federal House, but there is no doubt of the necessity for immediate reimbursements.

I did not have the opportunity of explaining the position when I put my question to the Minister this afternoon, but I wish him to understand that I gave the Department of Trade and Customs the source of my information at the earliest possible moment. If the Department is going to furnish replies of that character, I shall, in future, decline to supply it with information. It is treating me in a most discourteous and improper manner.

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