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Wednesday, 14 October 1914

Mr KELLY (Wentworth) .- I strongly suggest to the honorable member for Ballarat that he ought not to press his amendment. The sympathy, at all events, of every honorable member is united in this matter, and we ought not to attempt in any way to embarrass the Government or the idea 'which is at the back of the motion submitted by the Government. The honorable member will realize, upon reflection, thathis amendment is the sort of one which he or any honorable member on this side of the House would move if he had some grave doubts as to the honesty of intention of the Government as regards the alleviation of local distress. I sit in Opposition, but I am confident that the present Government is as earnest as its predecessors would have been to meet all local cases of need, and to deal fairly, frankly, and fully with any case of local distress. For that reason I strongly suggest to the honorable member that the terms of his amendment constitute, quite unintentionally, I believe, a serious reflection upon the Government which he is supporting.It must be obvious to my honorable friend that it would not be necessary to carry a provision of the kind if one had complete confidence in the Government with regard to their conduct of the local business arising out of the war. The honorable member proposes, in effect, that this money shall not be granted until the Government shall have given some proof of their bonafides. Does any one desire to put the Government in that position ? I should be sorry to see it done, and I submit to the honorable member for Ballarat, and those associated with him in this matter, that, if we must divide on the motion - we should not have anything of this kind - the one thing should not be hung on the other. Let us trust the Government to deal with local matters, and let us support them in their very fair recognition of the desire of Australia to give some practical sign of its appreciation of the great pluck, the endurance, the self-sacrifice, and the heroism of one of the greatest little peoples the world has known.

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