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Wednesday, 16 March 1932

Mr JAMES (Hunter) .- I oppose this motion. The Government is taking this action in an attempt to redeem the promises made by certain of its supporters on the hustings in December last, and repeated by the Prime Minister when speaking at the Millions Club in Sydney. That promise was that the Lang Government in New South Wales would be removed. Ever since this Government has been in office it has persistently harassed the State Government of New South Wales. I refer not only to the proceedings which we are now considering, but also to the inhuman treatment meted out by the Commonwealth Government to the unfortunate unemployed persons in the Federal Capital Territory, to whom it refused food relief so that they would have to cross over into New South Wales, and become a burden on the government of that State.

Mr Lane - Is the honorable member in order in stating that this Government refused to give food to the unemployed in the Federal Capital Territory in order to force them into New South Wales?

Mr SPEAKER - I must warn honorable members to refrain from raising points of order which may be regarded as frivolous, and before the honorable member who is speaking has had time to develop his argument. I have been listening carefully to the honorable member for Hunter, and if he oversteps the limits of debate he will be called to order.

Mr JAMES - I repeat the statement that food was refused to unemployed persons in the Territory so as to force them into New South Wales, and if the honorable member for Barton (Mr. Lane) bad attended more regularly to the business of the House, he would have known this for himself, because it was brought out by ministerial answers to questions.

Mr Lane - The honorable member's statement is untrue, and is offensive to me. I am always in my place at the House, and I ask that the honorable member withdraw his statement.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member for Hunter must recognize that the honorable member for Barton has been regular in his attendance in this House. His statement, therefore, was not warranted. I ask him to ignore interjections, and to deal only with the motion before the Chair.

Mr Lane - The statement of the honorable member fdr Hunter (Mr. James) if not withdrawn, will be injurious to me, and will prejudice me in the opinion of my constituents. The statement is offensive to me, and I ask for an unqualified withdrawal.

Mr SPEAKER - When I spoke to the honorable member for Hunter I should have asked him to withdraw the remark. I now require him to do so.

Mr JAMES - I withdraw. The unemployed of Canberra have received notice to quit No. 4 camp on Thursday next.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member must not pursue that line of debate.

Mr JAMES - This Government is attempting to harass the State Government of New South Wales, and the treatment that it is now meting out to the unemployed at Canberra is in accordance with the promises that it made on the hustings to remove the Lang Government from office. Recently the Prime Minister spoke at the Millions Club in Sydney, and when referring to Mr. Lang said : " We must remove this incubus from office ". This motion is an attempt to do so. This Government considers that by stealing the revenues of New South Wales the State public servants will not be paid, and the unemployed will not receive food relief.

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