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Thursday, 10 June 1926

Senator KINGSMILL (Western Australia) . - The speech just delivered by Senator Guthrie gives one furiously to think, as the French say, and brings into prominent relief the fact that many honorable senators consider these articles solely from the view-point of Melbourne and its climate. They apparently overlook the fact that in one of the most important parts of Australia, the north, the people must have light clothing, and arrogate to themselves the right to say what others shall or shall not wear. A noted character in Biblical history once excused himself from certain proceedings by asking. " Am I my brother's keeper ?" I do not know whether he was or not, but we are certainly aspiring to the position of being, not only our brother's keeper, but what is more important, and I venture to say more dangerous, our sister's keeper. I do not wish to interfere with the liberty of the subject. Moreover, the Australian people are as good a judge of what they require as we are. They who wear this stuff know as much about it as we do, and will not be guided by the opinions - I was about to say prejudices - of any member of this committee. They are not going to be dictated to, and I do not blame them. This discussion brings into prominence the point that, apparently, those who are supporting the proposition have regard to only two classes in the community - the employer and the employee. They forget the great bulk of the people of Australia who are not in either of these capacities. In these circumstances, I cannot see my way to support the request proposed by my colleague from Western Australia, Senator Drake-Brockman.

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