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Friday, 23 July 1920

Mr RYAN (WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yesterday, when the Minister for the Navy(Sir Joseph Cook) was speaking, he suggested bythe words that he used that I had something to do with the getting together of a very large gathering, amounting to many thousands of persons, that assembled within the precincts of this House on Thursday evening.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - I made no such suggestion at any time.

Mr RYAN - Then I misunderstood the right honorable gentleman. He suggested that the gathering synchronized with my advent to the House, although a War Precautions regulation had been in existence for quite a long time prohibiting such gatherings. I assure you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, honorable members, and the people at large, that I had nothing whatever to do with the getting together of that assembly, and knew nothing of it. I addressed some words to it, but only in response to the request of the gathering, and with a view to urging it to keep within the law, and to use that selfrestraint - those were my very words - which I thought necessary to save the right honorable gentleman and some of those associated with him from the consequences of the public indignation aroused by their arbitrary exercise of the powers conferred by the War Precautions Act.

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