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Wednesday, 9 November 1910
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Senator READY (Tasmania) .- I am quite in agreement with the opinion expressed by the two previous speakers. I think that the Vice-President of the Executive Council ought to have no hesitation about withdrawing the clause.


Senator Millen - A portion of it.


Senator READY - He should withdraw that. portion dealing particularly with the control of the Territory by the Minister of External Affairs. I take it that a certain amount of reflection is being cast upon the Home Affairs Department by placing the Territory under the control of another Department.


Senator McGregor - What has the Home Affairs Department to do with the matter ?


Senator READY - The Home Affairs Department will have a great deal to do with the results that will flow from the passing of this Bill, inasmuch as Commonwealth works carried out in the Territory will be under its control.


Senator McGregor - That is the proper function of the Home Affairs Department.


Senator READY - Decidedly it is. For that reason I think that the contention of the two previous speakers is well worthy of consideration. Will not the proposed railway be - a matter coming under the Home Affairs Department'!-


Senator McGregor - Only the construction of it.


Senator READY - That will be a very big item.


Senator Millen - Not necessarily, because, as Senator Givens has pointed out, the Commonwealth may consider it advisable to start a railway construction branch in the Territory itself.


Senator READY - That may be so, but I would ask Senator Millen whether he thinks it is necessary that we should create a second survey staff for work in the Northern Territory. Would it not be more businesslike to have the survey staff as it is now, under the control of the Home Affairs Department. It has taken ten years to build up the Home Affairs Department, and it is now a well-organised department.


Senator Millen - Has the Home Affairs Department enough to do at the present time?


Senator READY - My experience is precisely the same as that of my honorable colleague, Senator O'Keefe, and I should say that the Department of Home Affairs has a good deal to do. It was to be expeered that the business of the Department would continue to increase. In my opinion, it is very illogical to suggest that we should create a second survey department solely for the Northern Territory.


Senator McGregor - No such proposition has been made. The honorable senator is losing sight of the fact that . this Bill may continue in operation only for a year.


Senator READY - That is no argument for the introduction of unnecessary provisions, and I agree with those who have objected to this clause.







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