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Wednesday, 16 March 1932

Mr SPEAKER (Hon Gr H Mackay (LILLEY, QUEENSLAND) - Order ! I cannot permit this dialogue between two honorable members to continue, The honorable member for New England is entitled to make his explanation, but he must follow somewhat different lines.

Mr THOMPSON - I cannot proceed because of the interruptions of the honorable member for East Sydney. On the Monday before I left for Canberra, I visited the Commonwealth offices in Sydney, and following my usual custom, engaged in conversation with other members who were there, including the honorable member for West Sydney. That gentleman asked me if we were likely to have a vote on the following day on the tobacco question. I replied that I was not sure, but that I thought that it was quite likely. He said, "Rowley James wants to go to the Maitland show. We are opposing the Government on this ". I said, " So is the Country Party, with one exception ". I mentioned the exception, the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory). The honorable member for West Sydney asked me, "Do you think it wise to let him go?" and I replied " That is a matter for you and him to decide." Nothing more was said about the matter. On the train next day I approached the honorable member for West Sydney and asked whether the honorable member for Hunter was aboard. He replied, "No, he ha3 gone to Maitland." I said, " That is a pity. I think that we are going to have a vote on this question to-night ". He put to me the query, " Are you fellows going to stand up to this?" and my reply was " Certainly we are." That was all that was said.

Mr James - I rise to a point of order. I wish to correct the misstatement that I went to the Maitland show.

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