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Wednesday, 13 December 1911

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - - Had it not been for some remarks made by the last speaker I should not have taken part in this debate, as I am suffering from a cold. I think that his remarks as to a trip to the Northern Territory on the part of members of this Parliament not being advantageous, were all nonsense. I have not visited the Northern Territory. Probably I shall not go if an opportunity is afforded. But I am satisfied that if I did go, I should be much better prepared to legislate in regard to the Territory than I am at present. I remember the occasion when I visited YassCanberra and Dalgety at the public expense. So did Senator McColL I came to a certain decision. I was convinced that a certain course was the right one. Had 1 not been to Yass-Canberra I should not have been in a position to give so decided an opinion, and the Federal Capital would not have been situated in the right place. Every one of my Labour comrades was against me on the point. But now they are all with me, especially those who sit on. the Treasury bench. J think that it is a wise thing to give members of Parliament an opportunity of seeing the country for which they have to legislate. My honorable friend Senator Stewart, when he deals with the single tax, is like an unbridled horse. ' Nobody can control him. He goes wherever he likes. The honorable senator has recently been on a trip to the Old Country. I do not say that he went at the Government expense. I know that he did not. Some honorable senators did, and I do not blame them. T withdrew my name from the ballot, and should not have gone if I had been chosen. I think, however, that it ill-becomes any member of this Parliament to disparage those who went to the Old Country, nor do I think that we should discourage those who are willing to go on excursions to parts of the Commonwealth for which they may have to legislate. I might have said something to the members of the Government in regard to postal affairs in .South Australia, especially in reference to those officers who have been cruelly treated by the Public Service Commissioner. But there is some hope that, through the medium of the Arbitration Court, justice may be done to them. I am rather disappointed at what the Government have done in this matter. I think they should have gone to the root of it, and seen that justice was done to the public servants.

Senator McColl - May I say a word by way of correction? Senator Russell, no doubt unwittingly, said that I visited Yass-Canberra at the Government expense. I went at my own expense.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I did not say that the honorable senator went at the Government expense.

Senator McColl - Yes, the honorable senator did say that. It was an error.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I certainly did not wish to misrepresent the honorable senator.

Senator McColl - I know that.

Senator W RUSSELL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What I meant to say was that I went to Dalgety and Yass-Canberra at the Commonwealth's ex pense, and I added that Senator McColl went ; but I did not wish to imply that he went at the public expense. The difference between us, however, is that I stuck to my opinion and Senator McColl did not.

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