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Thursday, 12 August 1920

Mr CUNNINGHAM (Gwydir) . - I do not think the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Atkinson) is serious in submitting this amendment. If he really claims that the general public should be represented, he should outline a scheme for the selection of representatives. Does he propose to take a vote of the whole of the electors of the Commonwealth to decide who this one- third of the representation is to be, or will he accept the Government nomination? If the representation of the general public is to be secured, the chairman should be the representative, because he will be selected by the Government, who should look into his fitness, with that object in view. It is not right for honorable members to attempt to get a certain amount of " limelight " by using such catch-phrases as "the general public." I believe that this amendment was inspired by the letter which the honorable member for Wilmot received to-day, in common with other honorable members, from the Middle Class Association, and in which what that gentleman said last week is brought forward as an argument why we should take certain action to-day. We should not allow this opportunity to pass without giving our reasons why we are against these ridiculous proposals, which, on the face of them, are designed for the purpose of showing that the representatives appointed as proposed in the Bill will not represent the general public.

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