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Thursday, 26 July 1906

Mr WEBSTER (Gwydir) .- I did not intend to speak at this stage of the debate, but, after listening to the wholesale condemnation of the unpatriotic attitude of this House, in which the honorable member for Oxley indulged-

Mr R EDWARDS (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - I did not refer to this House.

Mr WEBSTER - The honorable member referred practically to the treatment which Queensland had received at the hands of this House, and he made statements which were not only unjustifiable, but unpatriotic, and unworthy of a representative of that great State. The honorable member declared that it had received no benefit from the Commonwealth. As a matter of fact, in proportion to her contribution to the Commonwealth Treasury, Queensland has received greater benefits from the Federation than has any other St'ate in the Union. That being so, the statements of the honorable member were unworthy of a member of this Chamber. He is, perhaps, to be excused, for I do not think that he realizes at times the seriousness and the importance of the statements that he makes. This view is borne out by the unjustifiable assertions that have been made with regard to the attitude of the Commonwealth towards the people of other lands. The action of the honorable member in seeking to placate the northern State by charging this Parliament with acting unfairly to it is most unjustifiable. I protest against it. As one who has endeavoured as far as possible to hold the scales of justice evenly between the Commonwealth and the States - as one who not only professes, but practices the Federal spirit in the terms of the Union, and who is prepared to do everything possible for the advancement of the Commonwealth - I resent the remarks made by him. . I hurl back his insinuation that Queensland does not receive justice at the hands of the Commonwealth, that she cannot expect to receive it, and that she should no longer appeal to us.

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