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Wednesday, 9 November 1910
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Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I had hoped that the VicePresident of the Executive Council would welcome the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition to omit the whole clause. I still object to the wording of it. My objection is not advanced because I have any suspicions about Mr. Batchelor. I think that the remarks of the VicePresident of the Executive Council on that subject were uncalled for. There is no reason, because any . honorable senator has dared to express his opinion about the clause, to say that hehas reflected upon the character of a particular gentleman.

Senator McGregor - I do not say that the honorable senator did, but other honorable senators did.

Senator NEEDHAM - T was one of those who, at the second-reading stage,, opposed the clause because I was of" opinion that the Territory ought not to beplaced under the control of the Minister of External Affairs.

Senator McGregor - The honorable.senator is wrong.

Senator NEEDHAM - I may be wrong, but I have a right to express my. view.

Senator McGregor - Certainly, whether right or wrong.

Senator NEEDHAM - I have no suspicions about Mr. Batchelor. I have every confidence in him. But, nevertheless, if Senator Millen moves to omit the clause, I shall support him.

Senator McGregor - It is a reflection upon the Minister.

Senator NEEDHAM - I shall support such an amendment, because, in my opinion, the clause practically dubs the Northern Territory as something outside Australia.

Senator McGregor - It is outside the Commonwealth.

Senator NEEDHAM - It is, according to the Vice-President of the Executive Council's definition.

Senator de Largie - Politically, but not geographically.

Senator NEEDHAM - The Commonwealth has taken over from South Australia a portion of the Territory of that State known as the Northern Territory. Surely, South Australia is in the Commonwealth.

Senator Millen - Cannot the honorable senator see the difference between a geographical and a political inclusion?

Senator NEEDHAM - I do not want to see it. We are not dealing with the question of ceding the Territory to the Commonwealth. We have taken it over.

Senator McGregor - No ; it is not part of the Commonwealth proper.

Senator Millen - What does the Commonwealth consist of? Six States. What is the Northern Territory?

Senator NEEDHAM - What are we going to make of it?

Senator Millen - We are not going to make it a seventh State.

Senator NEEDHAM - Nevertheless I contend that the Territory is a portion of the Commonwealth.

Senator Millen - Geographically, yes.

Senator NEEDHAM - By placing the administration of the Territory even provisionally in the hands of the Minister of

External Affairs, we are dubbing it as something like a foreign element.

Senator McGregor - When the honorable senator begins to learn the difference between foreign and external, I may be able to agree with him.

Senator NEEDHAM - I respectfully suggest to the Vice-President of the Executive Council that if he will not accept the suggestion of Senator Millen, he should at least agree to insert the word " Home" instead of " External."

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