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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Thenmeans of conveyance. That is all that was paid in any case.

Sir John Forrest - The only means of getting to Western Australia is by sea.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The members to whom I have referred could not have made the whole of their journeys by railways. One went to Northern Queensland to make inquiries relating to the sugar industry, which was the object of the parliamentary party which went there, while the other visited' New Guinea, to inquire into matters of Commonwealth concern, and furnished a valuable report on his return. But, although Senator Staniforth' Smith went to New Guinea via the South Sea Islands, and incurred an expenditure of between £200 and ^300, he asked the reimbursement of his expenses only from Samarai to the gold-fields, and back to Australia, and received only between £20 and ^30. In my opinion, there should be a definite understanding, in this matter, because, in the present position of affairs, questions arise which it is very difficult to satisfactorily settle. The late Treasurer and myself, however, felt that, following precedents and the Cabinet minute on the subject, we were bound to sanction these payments, and I take the fullest responsibility for whatwas done.

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