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Tuesday, 10 August 1926

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator's, remarks are not relevant to the bill.

Senator McHUGH - The distinguished King's Counsel, Mr. Smith-

The PRESIDENT - Order !

Senator McHUGH - Should I be in order, Mr. President in saying that, in view of the opinion expressed by eminent counsel, including the AttorneyGeneral, Mr. F. V. Smith, K.C., and leading legal authorities in Victoria, I consider this bill to be ultra vires ? Three of the States, for various reasons, have rejected the agreement. The Victorian Government has done so on the ground that it considers that the money should be spent in the State in which it is collected. In South Australia, where, under a Labour Government, the people are so prosperous that the number of motor cars in proportion to the population is greater than in any other State, the reason is much the same. The Government of South Australia feels that it should not be called upon to build roads in Western Australia and Queensland, which are reputed to -be richer States. South Australia, being well governed

Senator Crawford - Does the honorable senator imply that Queensland is badly governed ?

Senator McHUGH - No; it is well governed. I can understand the attitude of an honorable member in another place, who said that he was prepared to accept the grant for his State with both hands. That honorable member came from Western Australia, which State, under these proposals, will be treated better than South Australia. I am here in the interests of South Australia, and I object to my State being called upon to contribute to the cost of roads in other States. Some of the States will not accept these proposals. Bad feeling will exist between at least three of the States and the Commonwealth.

Debate (on motion by Senator Thompson) adjourned.

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