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Wednesday, 29 June 1921

Senator CRAWFORD - I do not think South Australia is prepared to accept it.

Senator Wilson - If the- Territory is handed back to South Australia we should be prepared to give back the Federal Territory to New South Wales.

Senator GARDINER - If there was any offer to drop Canberra, and give NewSouth Wales its freedom, that State would accept, that offer. The Government have recognised that the Northern Territory desires representation. Before the Territory was taken over by the Commonwealth the residents there had representation in the South Australian Parliament, and now the Territory is under the control of the Commonwealth Government it is only natural that they should desire representation. Another "way out of the difficulty would be to create another State, and then, under the Constitution, they could have six representatives in this Chamber and five members in the House of Representatives.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If we did that we would depopulate the Territory.

Senator CRAWFORD.Theywould have such representation as Parliament determined.

Senator GARDINER - There may be something in that. The disparity between the population of Tasmania and that of the Northern Territory is, after all, not much greater than that between the populations of New South Wales and Tasmania.

Senator Keating - But Tasmania is an original State.

Senator GARDINER - Of course it is. The creation of another State would provide a way out of the difficulty, as by that the people of the Northern Territory would have representation, and would then have an opportunity of bringing before us its prospects and possibilities, and some of us would probably live to see the day when it will become one of the most, prosperous portions of the Commonwealth.

Senator Wilson - It cannot be developed without a railway.

Senator GARDINER - If a railway is to be constructed it should connect up with the Queensland system.

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