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Thursday, 20 May 1920

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I informed the Minister for the Navy (Sir Joseph Cook), who was in charge of the House at the time, that, in view of the statement made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) that nothing could be done in regard to the continuation of the moratorium regulations, and that the Government were determined to do nothing, I would submit a further amendment. While extremely anxious that something should be done for the people concerned in this matter, I am inclined to think that the course pursued by the Leader of the Country party (Mr. McWilliams) is not quite the right one. I am anxious to do the best thing, because I am convinced of the urgency of the matter. I informed the Minister for the Navy that I would move that the total of the proposed vote be reduced by £1, as an instruction to the Prime Minister to bring the question of the moratorium before the Premiers' Conference--

Mr Hughes - I will do that.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I desire to obtain the Prime Minister's assurance.

Mr Hughes - I certainly give the honorable member that assurance.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am very pleased to have that assurance of the Prime Minister that, at the Conference of State Premiers, to be held a few days hence, he will endeavour to impress upon the visiting Premiers the urgent necessity of doing everything in their power to give relief by securing an extension of the moratorium. I believe that it is a State matter. We have hitherto taken action under the War Precautions Act, but if that Act is to cease to operate in a month's time, then clearly we are unable to secure for these people the desired relief. I accept the Prime Minister's assurance.

Amendment negatived.

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