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Tuesday, 29 November 1927

Senator KINGSMILL (Western Australia) . - I rise to protest against the inconsiderate attitude of honorable senators on this side of the chamber! Can they not realize the difficult position in which they place their fellow members of the Senate opposite? Why do they urge them to express an opinion on the subject that has been raised? Can . they not see, in their pity, that whatever opinion honorable senators opposite express, they must offend a large proportion of their constituents? Why not consider that aspect! Those unfortunate representatives are in the most difficult position in which it is possible for them to find themselves. Why force them to express an opinion, if they have one, on this matter? I really feel deeply for them. Honorable senators on this side, including Senator Ogden, have not spared their feelings. They have my sympathy. I hope I shall never be in the same position. But let me suggest to them a way out. Let me suggest that independent of this case, but still relevant to it, they should consider the advisability of placing another stone upon that wall which they and their party are building around Australia to isolate us from the rest of the world. Let them think of that for a moment. If they do, then what honorable senators on this side may say on this issue matters not a jot. If they express an opinion on the larger question, they might very well let the smaller one go. I do not intend to express my views upon this subject. I question if it is necessary, unless I am called upon to do so, by the Leader of the Opposition. Honorable senators opposite can, I think, make a good guess at what my views are. I am quite prepared to let it go at that. I cannot, however, resume my seat without again expressing my sympathy with honorable senators opposite in the extremely awkward position in which they find themselves in having to offend a large section of their constituents if they express any opinion whatever upon this important matter.

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