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Friday, 30 July 1920

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon J M Chanter (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member may state reasons why the motion "in relation to the Federal Capital should be discussed, but he will not be in order in discussing the question in detail now.

Mr MAHONY - I. desire only to show the effect of depriving private members of their right to bring before the House most important matters. We desire an opportunity to show reasons why the work at Canberra should be proceeded with immediately, and to inform the House of the action which New South Wales will take if it is to be fooled any longer in regard to this question.

Mr Mcwilliams - The question can . be tested just as well on a motion to reduce Supply by £1.

Mr MAHONY - We should have an opportunity for a full and free discussion on a definite motion. In connexion with a Supply Bill there are many important matters which require consideration

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - Why is the honorable member now blocking the consideration of Canberra by delaying the Supply Bill?

Mr MAHONY - The effect of the motion proposed by the Prime Minister is to block discussion on the motion standing on the notice-paper in the name of the honorable member for Nepean. The Prime Minister's proposal is brought forward for no other purpose. Cabinet on looking through the business-paper has discovered that the first item of business for next private members' day is a motion relating to the Federal Capital, and Ministers have decided that the House must not be allowed an opportunity of voting upon the question, because they know that the majority of honorable members are in favour of the contract with New South "Wales being carried out.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - The honorable member is absolutely blocking the op-, portunity which is here now.

Mr MAHONY - The Treasurer knows that that is not so. Another important motion, in the name of the honorable member for Angas (Mr. Gabb), relates to internment camps. There are many other motions upon the notice-paper which the House should have an opportunity to consider. The statement of the Treasurer that any of these matters can hediscussed upon the Supply Bill is so much hot air, because he knows that the Government are determined to get the Bill through this House today, and they will take all sorts of care that we are not given an opportunity of discussing these important questions upon the Bill. The proposal to prevent honorable members bringing before the House, upon private members' day, matters affecting their constituencies, and the welfare of Australia generally, is an infringement of our rights, and the Government should be told clearly that we demand an opportunity to deal with these questions.

Mr Bamford - The Prime Minister has promised honorable members a week at the end of the session.

Mr MAHONY - The Prime Minister, in his usual light and airy manner, dangled before honorable members the promise of a week at the end of the session for the discussion of private members' business. There will probably be a sixmonths' recess at the end of the session, and this will give us plenty of time to stay at home and meditate on our foolishness if we allow this motion to pass. It will be useless for honorable members to complain later on that they have had noopportunity to discuss important questions. Every honorable member has his responsibilities just as much as have the Government, and we, therefore, have every right to discuss private business.

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