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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2175

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I am obliged to the Minister for having afforded' me this opportunity to test the fee'ling of honorable members as to whether we should take over -with the Meteorological Departments of the States the Astronomical Departments which are now being carried on in connexion with them. I do not intend to repeat the arguments I used during the second-reading debate. I desire merely to test the feeling of the House upon the question of whether we should not take over both the Astronomical and the Meteorological Departments of the States. I think that we should do so. If we neglect to do so, it will be an intimation to the States that we are very unlikely to assume control of their Astronomical Departments in the future. Therefore I move -

That this Bill be now recommitted to a Committee of the whole House.

I wish honorable members distinctly to understand that it has been arranged between the Minister and myself that this motion shall be regarded as a test one. If it be carried, it will imply that the opinion of honorable members is that the Astronomical Departments of the States should be transferred to the Commonwealth, together with the Meteorological Departments, but, if not carried, it will indicate that the feeling of the House is hostile to the transfer of the first-named Departments.

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