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Thursday, 26 July 1906

Mr R EDWARDS (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) .- I rise with a view to bringing this debate to a close. It has been very humiliating to me - and to other Queensland representatives - to be compelled to appeal year after year to the Government to do justice to that State in connexion with our European mail contract. I wish to thank those honorable members who have promised to support the amendment, but I recognise that it is utterly futile to make any further appeal for consideration at the hands of the Ministry. Consequently, I shall be pleased if honorable members will refrain from discussing the question at any greater length. I realize that the very name of Queensland stinks in the nostrils of the Commonwealth Government.

Mr Thomas - That is a most unfair remark to make.

Mr R EDWARDS (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - It is a very vulgar remark, and I am not in the habit of using vulgar expressions; but I say again that the very name of Queensland appears to stink in the nostrils of the Commonwealth Government. No effort has been made by them to provide that Brisbane shall be visited by the mail steamers, but every effort has been put forth to insure that those vessels shall call at Melbourne and Sydney.

Mr Austin Chapman - Does not the honorable member think that the interests of Queensland will be as well safeguarded by the Minister of Home Affairs as by himself ?

Mr R EDWARDS (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The honorable And learned member for Darling Downs should have resigned his portfolio if the Government were not prepared to do justice to the State which he represents. He should have refused to continue to be associated with the Ministry. That is the position which I should have taken up. I think that the State of Queensland will in future take very good care not to expect anything from the Commonwealth Government. As a result of this discussion, Federation, instead of being looked upon with some degree of favour, will be regarded as an obstacle to the progress of that State. The people of Queensland will wish with all their hearts that they were independent of this Parliament. I hope that no further appeal will be made upon behalf of Queensland, and that we shall come to a division at once.

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