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Wednesday, 3 May 1939
Page: 51


Mr A GREEN (Kalgoorlie) .- I briefly support the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) in his contention that the adoption of the Statute of Westminster should have preceded this bill. The Commonwealth Government is the one Government of the British dominions that has failed to adopt this statute. I cannot believe that this is because there has been insufficient time in which to do it. I am afraid that at the back of the minds of members of governments formed in the past by the parties opposite was the fear that the adoption of the statute might be regarded as a reflection on their loyalty to the British Crown. I do notthink they believed that in their hearts, but they thought that the repercussion from an action which would be purely Australian would have a harmful political effect on them. Whatever weaknesses we have seen in the nationalist and. composite governments of the past, I was hopeful that during the tenure of office of the present Ministry, be it ever so brief, it would take a manly, Australian stand in this matter, and do something to show that Australia can stand on its own feet as well as any of the other dominions, not one of which, with the exception of Canada, is of such importance, as far as nationhood is concerned, as Australia. I challenge the Government to show that it has sufficient of the Australian spirit to adopt the Statute of Westminster, ' as long demanded by the honorable member for Batman.







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