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Friday, 30 July 1920

Mr MAHONY (Dalley) .- I am surprised that the Prime Minister should have moved' this motion when most important motions have been placed on the notice-paper by private members. The first item for next Thursday is an urgent motion in the name of the honorable member for Nepean (Mr. Bowden) in relation to the Federal Capital.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - Honorable members were discussing that matter on the Supply Bill last night.

Mr Hughes - And it can be discussed under cover of grievances.

Mr MAHONY - The matter was being discussed last night for a few moments, but we desire a serious discussion upon it, and an opportunity for the House to say to the Government that the construction of the Capital at Canberra shall be proceeded with. Honorable members who represent Victorian constituencies may laugh, but they must remember that New South Wales, which provides three-fourths of the revenue of the Commonwealth, will demand that this contract shall be carried out. The notice of motion in the name of the honorable member for Nepean (Mr. Bowden) reads -

(1)   That pursuant to the resolution passed by this House on 27th May, 1915, and in view of the importance of having the Commonwealth Parliament removed at the earliest opportunity from influences inseparable from its location in any of the existing State capitals, in the opinion of this House the building of the Parliament Houses and Administrative Offices and other necessary works should be proceeded with at the earliest possible opportunity.

(2)   That the carrying of this resolution be an instruction to the Government to take all necessary steps to expedite the construction of the necessary accommodation.

The discussion of that motion will provide an opportunity to honorable members to decide by their votes whether the compact entered into by the various States with New South Wales shall be honoured. That compact was made, and it is of no use-

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