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Thursday, 23 August 1906

Mr LONSDALE (New England) . - The honorable member for Bland asserted that I stated that Australians had no brains. He must have known that his statement was not correct. As an Australian myself, I should never dream of making such a statement as that. The honorable member for Herbert suggested that an Australian should be appointed to administer the affairs of New Guinea, and I interjected, "An Australian even if he had no brains?"

Mr Spence - Where is the difference?

Mr LONSDALE - When the honorable member for Darling cannot see the difference, the unfairness of the statement of the honorable member for Bland is fully indicated. Some Australians are idiots, and some are, of course, just like other men. I hold that Australians have just as much intelligence and strength as have other Anglo-Saxons. Some Australians are fair, and some are absolutely unfair. The honorable member for Bland is an adept at misrepresentation. Last session he made a statement in this House which I challenged as being unfair, and he then sought the intervention of the Speaker to make me withdraw the word " unfair." I do not believe in placing any one in a position of responsibility unless he is fit to occupy it. If an Australian could be found who was fit to administer the affairs of Papua2 I should have no objection to his appointment; but no Australian would be entitled to occupy- the position, unless he were fully capable of discharging the duties attached to it. All things being, equal, I would give the preference to an Australian. When the honorable, member for Bland made his interjection, he thought that he had got hold of something which he would be able to use for electioneering purposes. He has shown that he would be capable of adopting almost any means to serve his own ends.

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