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Friday, 6 August 1926

Senator GRANT (New South Wales) . - I move-

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until 11 a.m. on Tuesday, 10th August.

Senator Thompson - Why waste the time of the Senate?

Senator GRANT - I offer no apology to either Senator Thompson or any other honorable senator for having asked for time to discuss what I regard as one of the most "important questions that can possibly engage the attention of this Parliament at the present time. I remind honorable senators that the Commonwealth possesses in the Federal Capital Territory an area of very nearly 1,000 square miles, the greatest portion of which has been under its control for a quarter of a century. After innumerable consultations, and the exercise of great care in the preparation of specifications, steps were taken to advertise throughout the world for designs for the lay-out of the Federal Capital city. Ultimately the plan submitted by Mr. W. B. Griffin, of Chicago, was chosen as the winning design. Fortunately, his plan has not been departed from to any great extent. For various reasons members of the Federal Parliament have not been able to see their way clear to give immediate effect to the desire that the Seat of Government should be removed to the Federal Capital Territory, and accordingly it has remained in Melbourne until the present time. I have repeatedly urged, both here and elsewhere, that the basic work required should be put in hand so that the Seat of Government could be removed to Canberra with the least amount of inconvenience, and at the earliest possible date.

Senator Pearce - I rise to a point of order. The honorable senator has moved the adjournment of the Senate for the specific purpose of discussing the sale and transfer of building leases at Canberra. Standing Order 64, which bears upon the matter, states that only the subject in respect of which the motion is made can be debated. I ask you, Mr.President, whether the honorable senator is in order in discussing the whole question of the selection of Canberra as the Federal Capital city, the lay-out of that city, and the removal of the Parliament to it?

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon J Newlands - The honorable senator will not be in order in discussing those general questions; he must confine his. remarks to the terms of the motion of which he gave notice. For the moment I was engaged in an important consultation with an officer of the Senate, and I was not paying close attention to the remarks which the honorable senator was making.

Senator GRANT - I offer not the-, slightest objection either to your ruling;, sir, or to the action of the Leader of the Government, in taking every possible point to keep me within order.

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