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Friday, 30 July 1920

Mr LAZZARINI (Werriwa) . - Many arguments can be advanced why the work of removing the Capital should be proceeded with at once; but I shall only attempt to advance one or two We are often told that this or that cannot be done under the Constitution, which must be strictly regarded. But, in the present instance, it is proposed to depart from a solemn compact embodied in the Constitution itself - a compact any departure from which means a violation of that Constitution. Ido not think that New

South. Wales has been treated at all fairly in this connexion. It is time that a Commonwealth of this importance had its Federal Capital and its Parliament properly housed. As to the work being unproductive, I submit that it would prove reproductive from the very first. The whole of .the land there belongs to the Commonwealth, and the leasing of it for building and other purposes would return more than the interest on the money invested. The building of the Capital would also tend to solve the serious problem of unemployment, if the Government would only boldly tackle the job. There would not be much trouble in getting the initial capital, even if we resorted to the old system of borrowing, because I believe that New South Wales itself would contribute sufficient.

Although I see nothing in the Estimates to provide for works at Canberra, I notice a very large amount is provided for the unproductive purposes of defence and the military establishment. It seems to me inconsistent to raise the cry of "No money," when evidently we can raise any amount for the Defence Department. I protest against this enormous expenditure because I believe a system is being organized that will eventually Prussianize Australia. Not long ago, I saw a cartoon by an eminent English artist, depicting, in the other world, the shades of a German soldier and a British soldier. The German soldier is saying to the Englishman, " They told me I died to Prussianize Britain"; and the British soldier is saying to the German soldier, "I died to liberate Germany," and then they both say, "Let us congratulate ourselves on our success." We have been victorious in the war which was to crush militarism and end wars, but it seems to me that it is the other nations which are going to get the freedom from militarism This military system, and the piling up of huge expenditure every year, Wil prove too great a burden for a small population of 5,000,000; and for that reason I think it will be well to effect some reasonable reduction. Of course, a certain expenditure is necessary, but, in my opinion, we are spending too much in building up huge defences which are unnecessary, seeing that to-day there are practically no enemies who could attack us. Amongst the countries of the world,

Japan is the only one which may be regarded as a military power; as to the other countries, I believe that the social and political organization which will grow up will prevent militarism getting any hold there in the future. Really, the only/ nations which are piling up defence expenditure are the Allied nations.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.

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