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Saturday, 16 December 1905


Mr SPEAKER - I must ask the honorable member not to refer to the debates in the other House.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then I will say that a member of this Parliament is reported by the press to have stated that he will not reconsider this question until Mr. Carruthers has apologized. That, I contend, is a ridiculous attitude to take up. It is absurd to urge that the language 0? any one man should influence us in the slightest degree in dealing with this very important matter. Here is what the Premier of Western Australia said upon the public platform a little while ago: -

He was going to try it, all the same. If he failed, it might possibly be his duty to come before his constituents and ask them - and ask the people of Western Australia - whether, having tried all other means in their power to obtain justice, and having failed, it would be advisable to cut adrift, and run their own boat as he thought they ought to.


Mr Mahon - There is a vast difference between the two cases. The Transcontinental Railway was absolutely denied to Western Australia, but we are ready to give New South Wales the Federal Capital. That State,however, wishes to dominate our choice.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - New South Wales asks nothing but the honouring of the bond.


Mr Mahon - Are we not honouring it in this Bill ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I hope to show the honorable member that we are not.


Mr Isaacs - New South Wales wishes to put her own interpretation on the bond-


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - She certainly desires to have some say in the interpretation of a compact which affects herself. The honorable and learned gentleman, in drafting this Bill, has recognised that New South Wales possesses rights - indeed, everything in the measure is conditioned by those rights. Unless she grants certain territory to the Commonwealth, the Bill becomes a dead letter.


Mr Isaacs - Not at all


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -The acquirement of the Federal territory is all conditional upon it being granted by New South Wales.


Mr Isaacs - The honorable member ought to understand that this Bill does not concede that the Commonwealth cannot exercise its fullest rights.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not suggest that. I am merely . speaking of the terms of the Bill, which are conditioned by a precedent grant on the part of New South Wales.


Mr Isaacs - This Bill does not recognise that New South Wales, by inaction, can prevent the completion of the choice, and the. acquisition of the territory.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not say that. Of course, this Bill does not completely exhaust our powers. It is an attempt to define them, and all the powers which it contains are conditioned by this precedent grant on the part of New South Wales. That is a dear recognition that New South Wales has rights, and, therefore, that she has a right of refusal aswell as of agreement.


Mr Isaacs -Shehas no right of refusal.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think that she has. At any rate, she has exercised it and exercised it, apparently, to the disgust of a large number of members of this Parliament. If New South Wales has a right to make a grant of territory, surely she has an equal right to refuse to make that grant? The exercise of that right of refusal ought not to subject her to the evident feeling which has been provoked in this Parliament.


Mr Isaacs - If she has a duty to grant she has no right to refuse.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not so. The question of whether she has a duty to grant must be referable to the terms of the Constitution. Everything depends upon how we read the Constitution in the last resort. The Minister of Home Affairs pointed out that the See Government made certain proposals, and submitted certain offers. The answer to his statement is that the present Parliament of New South Wales has repudiated everything which that Government did. The members of that Government have been scattered as a Government. They did not, in my judgment, represent the opinion of New South Wales upon this matter, and consequently it is idle to quote what they did. Then we have been told that Mr. Carruthers himself offered Dalgety as la site. That is to say, he sought to induce the New South Wales Parliament to include it in the list of sites which were offered. I should think that that fact evidences his bona fides in this matter, rather than condemns him. He showed that he desired to give the Commonwealth Parliament the widest possible choice of the Federal Capital. He favoured the inclusion of Dalgety, but was overruled by the New South Wales Parliament. In considering this matter, we should recollect that we are not dealing with Mr. Carruthers, except as the mouth-piece of the Parliament. The position is that the Commonwealth Parliament is dealing with the Parliament of New South Wales, and we ought to keep that fact in view.


Mr Salmon - Will the honorable member deny that Sir John See was the mouthpiece of the New South Wales Parliament when he made certain recommendations ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes, for the simple reason that he never submitted those recommendations to Parliament. Mr. Car- ruthers has not acted upon his own responsibility in this matter. He submitted the whole proposal to the New South Wales Parliament,and Parliament instructed him in regard to it.


Mr Salmon - I think that Sir John See submitted his proposal, but that it was not carried.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No. Mr. Carnithers protested time and again that Sir John See did not submit the matter to the New South Wales Parliament. The Minister of Home Affairs appeared to be very anxious to quote the utterances of Mr. Carruthers for the purpose of showing that he had been in favour of the choice of Dalgety. Does the Minister not find an exact parallel in his own case? He was not in favour of the selection of Dalgety originally.


Mr Groom - I merely quoted the speech delivered . by Mr. Carruthers last week,, in which he said that if this Parliament had chosen Bombala, New South Wales would have been put out of Court.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But the Minister also quoted Mr. Carruthers to show that he had offered Dalgety as a site.


Mr Groom - I did not make any point of that.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There is no point in it. The Minister himself voted against Dalgety, and favoured the selection of Lyndhurst. Yet we now find him a resolute champion of the claims 'of Dalgety. In dealing with this question, we ought to entirely set aside the personal views of honorable members, and regard it only from the stand-point of the relations of one Parliament to another. I think the Attorney-General will admit that New South Wales has a' right to the fulfilment of the compact.


Mr Isaacs - Nobody can deprive her of that right, even ifthey wished to do so.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Exactly. Then let us see what the bond is. In this connexion, I do not propose to confine myself to the mere terms of the Constitution. I think that we should take into consideration whatever will throw light upon the Constitution, and upon the intention of its framers. Believing that those who made the bargain are its best and most accurate interpreters, I naturally turn to the interpretation which was put upon section 125 by the Premiers of the States, immediately after their Conference had concluded.


Mr Isaacs - That interpretation, is very strongly against the position taken up by the honorable member.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The document from which I shall quote was signedby therightt honorable member for East Sydney, therightt honorable member for Balaclava, the flight honorable member for* Adelaide, the right honorable member for Swan, Sir Edward Braddon, . and Mr. Dickson. This is the way in which they interpret section 125 -

It is considered that the fixing of the site of the Capital is a question which might well be left to the Parliament to decide; but in view of the strong expression of opinion in relation to this matter in New South Wales, the Premiers have modified the clause so that while the Capital cannot be fixed at Sydney or in its neighbourhood, provision is made in the Constitution for its establishment in New South Wales at a reasonable distance from that city.

At a reasonable distance from Sydney. What is a reasonable distance?


Sir William Lyne - Not Dalgety, I suppose.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The terms of the bond ought to be some guide. Those who entered into it said that the Capital should be not less than 100 miles from Sydney, and I hold that the clear inference is that the selection of any suitable site outside that100-mile limit, but as near to it as possible, would be in strict compliance with the terms of the bond. Some regard should be paid to the wishes of New South Wales in the selection of a site outside that prescribed area.


Mr Isaacs - It is purely a Commonwealth matter.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is a State as well as a Commonwealth matter. The question is whether we are going to honour the terms of that bond and depart from the spirit of it. We have the best test of the spirit of the bond in the declaration of the signatories to it that the site is to be a reasonable distance from Sydney. May I put this point to the Attorney-General ? Supposing it had been decided to place the Capital in Victoria, within a reasonable distance from Melbourne.


Mr Isaacs - Not within 100 miles.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I find that the furthest distance by rail from Melbourne to the Adelaide border is about 286 miles. On the other hand, Dalgety is 330 miles from Sydney. Would the AttorneyGeneral regard it as being within a reasonable distance of Melbourne if the Capital was placed on that border? That is the parallel. No Victorian would regard the Capital as being fixed within a reasonable distance of Melbourne if it were put on the South Australian border, and yet, if it were, it would still be 50 miles nearer to Melbourne than Dalgety is to Sydney.


Mr Groom - Dalgety is 296 miles from Sydney, and 353 from Melbourne.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If, in the circumstances I have named, the people of Victoria would not regard the establishment of the Capital on the South Australian border as being in accordance with the bond, neither should New South Wales regard its establishment at an even greater distance from Sydney as honouring the bond. It is strange how the Commonwealth Parliament interprets the language of the bond in its own favour and as against the real interests of New South Wales. The Constitution declares that the Capital shall be not less than 100 miles from Sydney, and we say, therefore, that it should be erected 300 miles from Sydney ; it declares that the Federal territory shall be an area of not less than 100 square miles, therefore we say it shall be an area of 900 square miles. In other words, we say that the territory shall be nine times as great as that for which the Constitution provides, and that the Capital shall be three times further from Sydney than is required by the Constitution. Although that may be observing the letter of the compact, in my judgment it is departing grievously from the spirit of it, the intention being that it should represent a substantial concession to New South Wales. That is the view I take of this bargain, and what it means. Those who made it should be the men to interpret it. The Premiers of all the States place upon it the interpretation that the Capital is to be within a reasonable distance of Sydney.


Mr Isaacs - Properly read and understood, that is an absolutely strong argument against the honorable member's present position.


Sir William Lyne - I do not agree with the Attorney-General.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the AttorneyGeneral suggest that the arrangement entered into does not mean that the Capital is to be within a reasonable distance from Sydney ?


Mr Isaacs - It means that the Capital is not to be unreasonably close to Sydney.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why does it not say so?


Mr Isaacs - It does.


Sir William Lyne - It means that it is not to be unreasonably far fromSydney.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have never heard any one but the Attorney-General put upon the compact the interpretation that the Capital is not to be unreasonably near to Sydney. I venture to say that this is the first time that such a construction has been placed upon it.


Mr Isaacs - It is to be not less than 100 miles from Sydney.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Those who were signatories to the agreement say that, whilst the Capital is not to be in the neighbourhood of Sydney, itisto be at a reasonable distance from that city, and I hold that to establish it at Dalgety, Tumut, or Wellaregang would not be to comply with that interpretation.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The 100-mile limit fixes the question of unreasonable nearness.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is so. The Capital would be " unreasonably near " Sydney if it were within the 100 miles limit.


Mr Isaacs - I undertake to prove, from the history of the negotiations, and the resolutions presented from the Parliament of New South Wales, that what I say is absolutely correct.


Mr Fuller - The honorable and learned gentleman will have a big job.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I know that the Attorney-General has an abundance of pluck and ability. I believe that he would tackle any legal job, but that which he now suggests would be the toughest he ever undertook.


Mr Isaacs - No; it is an easy one.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Immediately after the bond had been entered into and explained by the Premiers 'in the terms I have stated, the Premier of New South Wales, the right honorable member for East Sydney, went to Sydney, and here is his comment upon the agreement arrived at -

It fixes the capital now and for all time in the very heart of our territory.

Does the Minister suggest that Dalgety is in the very heart of New South Wales?


Mr Groom - No. I say that if the Capital were established there it would be in New South Wales within the meaning of the section.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Read strictly, no doubt that is so; but I am speaking of the spirit of the bond, and of that which was in the minds of the men who made it. It cannot be said that the selection of Dalgety subscribes to the clear and evident intention of the Premiers who entered into this solemn bond. The right honorable member for East Sydney, on the occasion in question, went on to say -

There can be no doubt eventually some cool locality will be fixed upon as the Seat of Government, and there will also be chosen a spot in the neighbourhood of the Great Southern Railway, along which all the members will have to travel.


Mr Groom - That sounds like a description of Tumut.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It sounds very like a description of Goulburn! or a site in its vicinity. In the course of the interview from, which I have just quoted, the right honorable member for East Sydney went on to say that the Capital would unquestionably be located eventually somewhere between Moss Vale and Goulburn. The idea was that it would be fixed as near as possible to Lake George - the site now being suggested.


Mr Groom - Who is suggesting the selection of Lake George?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is being suggested by some honorable members as a very suitable site.


Mr Austin Chapman - Is the honorable member in favour of Lake George?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I must ask the honorable member to give notice of his question. We might submit it to his friend, the honorable member for Macquarie, just as he submits every other question of administration to his predecessor. As to the construction that was placed upon the compact when it was entered1 into, I have here a statement made by Mr-. Barton - a statement much stronger than that made by the right honorable member for East .Sydney. Speaking at a meeting in Sydney, he said -

He was perfectly satisfied that the Federal Capital would be fixed in such a place that Sydney would be its trading port.

This statement was made immediately after the Premier's Conference, and yet we have a proposal to establish a rival trading port to Sydney.


Sir John Forrest - I think that Sir Edmund Barton had Tumut in view.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr. Barton continued -

They should either not lose any of their trade if the Federal Capital were an insignificant place, or if it were a good and big and growing place, attracting money and men from all parts of Australia, then Sydney, as its port, would get the benefit of that. Now, let the gentlemen answer that, instead of vapouring as they vapoured each day.


Mr Isaacs - Would the honorable member give me a reference to that speech ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It was made at a meeting held in Sydney on 1st May, 1899. A speech' was also delivered on that occasion by the right honorable member for East Sydney.


Mr Salmon - Has the honorable member the first part of the speech made by Mr. Barton on that occasion?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have not.


Mr Salmon - He did not back up what the right honorable member for East Sydney said?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He was speaking purely of the Capital Site. I am pointing out the interpretation which those two honorable gentlemen placed upon the agreement when they were seeking to induce the people of New South Wales to enter the bond. That is the best way of getting at the meaning of what was understood at the time by the people who were most concerned in making the compact, and upon the faith of which New South Wales eventually adopted the Constitution, and became a constituent part of the Commonwealth. I shall content myself with that reference, because I do not believe in labouring the matter in so small a House, and when there is such an evident inclination to close the session and get away. ' But I do submit that it ought to receive very much more serious attention than it appears to be getting at the hands of this Parliament. We have had hardly a quorum, either during the delivery of the Minister's speech, or since that time, and apparently not very much interest is taken in this great question of fixing for all time the Seat of Government for Australia. According to the terms of the agreement, Dalgety is out of the running as a site ' for the ultimate location of the Federal capital. Being 300 odd miles from Sydney, it is much further from there than is any point connected by railway from Melbourne. Therefore, it cannot be said to be in the heart of the State, and a substantial concession thereto.


Mr King O'Malley - It has the Snowy River.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have no doubt about the climate and water supply of Dalgety, and I am told that Tooma is a magnificent site ; but the magnificence of the site is only a secondary consideration. If these magnificent sites are in the terms of the bond by all means let us get the best of them, but the condition should be - does the site comply with the bargain entered into originally ?


Sir John Forrest - What is the point ofthe honorable member's remark?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The point is-

That while the Capital cannot he fixed in Sydney-


Sir John Forrest - That is a preamble.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No, it is a resolution signed by all the Premiers who took part in the Conference, and bears the signature of the Treasurer. Unanimously it was resolved -

That while the Capital cannot be fixed in Sydney or in its neighbourhood, provision is made in the Constitution for its establishment in New South Wales, at a reasonable dstance from that city.


Sir John Forrest - But situate not less than 100 miles from Sydney.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It' was intended to be not nearer than 100 miles to Sydney, but still, at a reasonable distance therefrom.


Sir John Forrest - That resolution must be read in conjunction with the clause inserted in the Constitution Bill.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Let me put thecase which I put to the Attorney - General when the right honorable gentleman was out of the Chamber. Suppose that it had been decided to fix the site in Victoria - I wish that the honorable member for Dalgety would hold his tongue-


Mr SPEAKER - Order. The honorable gentleman should be referred to as the honorable member for Eden-Monaro.

Mr. AustinChapman. - The honorable member was pretty good at interjecting while the Minister of Home Affairs was speaking. He must take a little dose of his own medicine.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have not been interjecting at all, and the honorable member has no right to say that I have been. He is certainly very excited.


Mr SPEAKER - Will the honorable member for Parramatta discuss the question before the Chair?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Certainly, sir, but the honorable member is interrupting me.


Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member has challenged the Treasurer, and repeated remarks which he had previously made. I ask him to proceed with his speech, and not to draw the Minister, and then ask for protection.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not trying to draw the honorable member of whom I complain, and therefore I think that that remark from the Chair was not called for, I was complaining of the interruption of the Postmaster-General, and not of the Treasurer, whom I am addressing. However, sir, if I cannot get your protection, I suppose I must proceed without it. Suppose that the Treasurer had agreed to put the capital in Victoria, as he did in New South Wales, would he have considered that it was a reasonable distance from Melbourne within that State, and as containing a substantial advantage and concession thereto, if it were placed on the South Australian border?


Sir John Forrest - The nearest best site.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not know what the honorable member means by the nearest best site. Surely there can be only one best site !


Sir John Forrest - I mean the site nearest to Sydney which is eminently suitable.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable member say. that it would be a concession to New South Wales, and that it would be at a reasonable distance from Sydney to place the Federal Capital on the confines of the State?


Sir John Forrest - If it were put in any part of my State I should consider that it was a concession to it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But still the honorable member would not consider it to be within a reasonable distance of the capital of the State. It is not a question of whether it is a concession to the State, or of whether it is a beautiful site, but of whether it is a reasonable distance from the capital. That is the governing consideration.


Sir John Forrest - Surely we want an eminently good -site?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not con'sidering the question whether one site is as good as another, when either is outside the spirit of the compact. If it is a matter of considering the best site, why has not the honorable member proposed to go within the 100-mile limit, and pick a perfect site?


Sir John Forrest - That could not be done.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No, for the simple reason that all places within 100 miles of Sydney are shut out. By the same reasoning, if the site is to be within a reasonable distance of Sydney, such places as Dalgety are shut out. We have not to consider' whether a site is a preferable one as such, but whether it is a good and adequate one, complying with the solemn agreement made with New South Wales. I do not wish to labour this matter, but I want to know what this precious Bill is going to do for us. I cannot see that it will take us one step further forward.


Sir John Forrest - It will fix the territory.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is not even proposed to fix the territory any further than it is now fixed.


Mr Groom - It will give definite metes and bounds.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes, but it will not determine the matter.


Sir John Forrest - Yes, it will.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Evidently the honorable member has not read the terms of the Bill.


Sir John Forrest - We shall get the fee simple; a deed of grant will be issued.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Commonwealth has not yet got a foot of land; nor can- it be got until a grant has been made. Since a grant has been preliminarily refused, what is the use of going on with this Bill?


Sir John Forrest - We can acquire it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Government have an answer as to this particular site before the Bill is passed. Therefore, it is not idle to proceed with the consideration of a measure delimiting a site that is to be conditioned by a grant which has already been refused, 'and with the approval of the Parliament of New South Wales? We are told in the title that it is -

An Acf to determine more definitely the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth.

We are asked to determine more definitely the territory of Dalgety, when it has not been secured, in order that it may be determined and delimited. There is no power in the Bill to take or acquire Dalgety, except after it has been granted1. Does it contain any provision under which the Government of New South Wales could take advantage of the High Court? What would they have to agree to if the Bill were passed ? They would simply stand where they do now; they would say. " We decline to grant Dalgety; there is no need to go to the High Court about this matter."


Sir John Forrest - No.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - So far as I can see, this Bill will not facilitate the settlement of matters by one pin. I do not know why it is introduced.


Sir John Forrest - Perhaps New South' Wales will not refuse to grant it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - They have already specifically excluded it from their offer' of sites. There is nothing in this Bill to induce the State to grant the site more than there was in the previous measure.


Sir John Forrest - They will have to wait a bit then.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I believe that the Treasurer is right, and that the intention of the Bill is to make the State wait a bit. I can see infinite possibilities of delay, but I cannot see the possibility of a settlement which would be satisfactory, and which would continue harmonious relations between State and Commonwealth. The Treasurer has blurted out the truth again in his usual blunt fashion. 'He says that the Government of New South Wales will have to wait a bit if they do not agree to make the grant in accordance with this Bill. That may be the intention, but I venture to say that statements of that character will not tend to improve the feeling in New South Wales. They will not take us one step more forward in the final and just consideration of this question. This Bill is, I think, a good deal weaker than is the Act. By the latter, we authorized the Government to acquire territory for a Federal Capital. This Bill does not do anything of that kind. It says -

The Minister is empowered to obtain, and the Governor-General is empowered to accept, on behalf of the Commonwealth for the purposes of the Seat of Government, a grant by the State of New South Wales to the Commonwealth of the territory described in schedule A.

So that the obtaining, the acquiring, and the accepting are all conditioned by the granting of the territory and a grant has already" been refused. I characterize the Bill as being in much the same case as that precious Bill which the. Minister of Trade and Customs introduced the other day - I mean the Manufactures Encouragement Bill.


Sir William Lyne - The honorable member should not attack me because I am with him.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not attacking the honorable member. I know that he is with us on this matter, and I wish that "his colleague was too.


Sir William Lyne - So do I.

Mr.JOSEPH COOK- The PostmasterGeneral would be with us too if he were as reasonable as is the honorable gentleman. but on this occasion, reason has flown to the winds with him.


Mr Austin Chapman - What site is the honorable gentleman for?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am for a site as near to the 100-mile limit as it can be got.


Mr Groom - Would the honorable member exclude Lake George?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not so much care where it is, so long as it is within a reasonable distance of Sydney, and close to the 100-mile limit. With me, those are the conditions precedent to the selection' of a site.


Mr Wilkinson - What would the honorable member call a reasonable distance?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I should call a " reasonable distance " one not within the limit of 100 miles, but as near to that limit as possible. I should call an unreasonable distance one as far away from the 100 miles limit as possible.


Mr Fisher - Would the honorable member call Armidale within a reasonable distance ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is many hundreds of miles from Sydney. A site within a reasonable distance cannot be said to be one three or four times as far away as it need be. That is not the way we usually express ourselves when we make a bargain. When we fix a limit we mean to do something as near to that limit as possible. I shall not pursue this matter further. I am afraid that the House is in no mood seriously to consider the subject today. I regret it extremely. I should have liked to see a serious attempt made during the closing hours of this session to settle the question. The way in which this question of the Federal Capital Site has been left over to be the last item in the programme of the Government 'is one of the most regrettable features of the whole session. It does not show much indication of a desire on the part of the Government, so far as I can see, to deal with this matter, which so profoundly affects the relations of one-third of this Commonwealth to the rest of its people. I see no evidence of a genuine desire on the part of the Government to settle the matter in any way which will be at all satisfactory to the State which I have the honour to represent. I admit that every State has rights. I concede that to the full ; but I say that those States rights are all embodied in the bond. The to demand that that bond shall be carried into full and complete execution is one which is inherent in the State of New South Wales. And that, I take it, is what has been asserted by the Parliament of that State. It has made a respectful protest, repudiating any notion of secession. In as respectful a way as is open to it, it has expressed its view, as representing the State,; claiming the carrying into effect of the bond on the faith of which it entered into this Federation.

Mr.FRAZER (Kalgoorlie).- In commencing, I must congratulate the deputyleader of the Opposition on the address which he has delivered. His intention has evidently been to induce honorable members to be conciliatory in regard to the question. After the experience we have had, one can feel a certain amount of satisfaction that the honorable member has at last adopted a conciliatory spirit. I quite agree that in the consideration of a matter so important to the interests of the Commonwealth and to the State of New South Wales, we should manifest as much of a conciliatory spirit as possible. I wish to refer first to the contrast attempted to be made by the deputy leader of the Opposition between the remarks of the Premier of Western Australia-


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No ; no contrast.







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