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Thursday, 2 June 1921

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon J M Chanter (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I followed the honorable member while he was speaking, and took it that he was reading from the report of a Commission in America. He had, however, finished his reading of that document, and had begun to speak extempore. He then began to read from some other document before the point of order was raised. I call the honorable member's attention to the fact that it is against the Standing Orders for an honorable member to read his own speech; but I know of no standing orderwhich forbids an honorable member to read extracts from other speeches, so long as they are in conformity with our rules.

Mr.CONSIDINE. - Did you say, sir, that it was against the: Standing Orders for me to : readmy own. speech?


Mr.CONSIDINE. - 'That is what I did not do, as the Treasurer himself pointed out.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - My complaint is that the honorable member is reading, somebody else's speech.

Mr.CONSIDINE.- As you, sir, pointed out to the right honorable member, I had quoted extensively from the American Commission'sreport on conditions in Ireland.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - It will make a very nice little pamphlet, will it not?

Mr.CONSIDINE. - Possibly ; and I hope the right honorable member will lend me his aid in distributing it. As you, sir, have upheld my right to make my speech in my own way, so long as 1 do not transgress the rules of the House, I shall continue the brief quotation that I was making from the expressions of opinion of General Gough -

England has departed further from her own standards,, and further from the standards even of any nation in the world, not excepting the Turk and the Zulu, that has ever been, known in history before. She is doing irreparable harm to the interests of her own Empire, and to her good name, by the . circulation of accounts, which are daily proved to be only too true, of what is being done in Ireland from day to day. In an impoverished bankrupt world she is recklessly adding another area of: ruin and destruction.

We realize thaton every ground Ireland must have full national self-government, with, no greater and no other limitations than are imposed on Canada, Australia, or South Africa.

I quote the concluding portion, so as to be perfectly fair to General Gough. I draw the attention of honorable members to the tremendous advance in thought made by this general, the leader of the British Fifth Army on the "Western Front, whorefused in 1914 to be used: by the British Government for the purpose of coercing Ulster, and who since the war has so radically revised his opinion as the result of his study of the conditions at present existing in his native land. The gentleman whom the honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) was proud to quote in the days preceding the war is the gentleman whom he now, by interjection, accuses of slandering the British Empire. But, of course, General Gough has advanced mentally, whereas the honorable member is still where he was in 1914.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - Will the Irish people who are concerned in this trouble accept the suggestion of General Gough?

Mr.CONSIDINE. - I do not know; but it is for the right honorable gentleman and those who stand for British Imperialism to give the Irish people the opportunity of expressing- their opinion free from military terrorism; and when the Irish people so express their opinion I will stand by it whatever it be. If they choose to remain a component part of the British Empire under a Constitution similar to that of Australia, Canada, or South Africa, who am I that I should attempt to dictate to them what they should do? If upon the other hand they desire to keep the Allies up to the conditions for which they said they fought the last war, to secure small nations from coercion, and to give them the right to determine their own destiny; that is to say, if the people of Ireland claim that they have the right to maintain the Republic they have set up and. to rule their country in their own way, just as every intelligent Australian claims the right to do, according to their own ideas, free from the military domination of any Power, is there anything wrong in their doing so?

Sir Robert Best - A. good. deal.

Mr.CONSIDINE. - I am glad to note that the honorable member for Kooyong is the only one who thinks so. He considers these words of General Gough a slander upon the British Empire, but I could quote from a pamphlet signed by fifty British intellectuals, professors of universities and leading public men of Great Britain, a most damning indictment of British rule in Ireland, or another indictment of that rule contained in the London Times, of the 14th September, 1920, and signed by Ernest Barker, Philip Gibbs (knighted by the King, not for slandering the Empire, but for services during the war), Charles Gore, Hubert Gough, J. L. Hammond, L. T.

Hobhouse, Desmond MacCarthy, John Masefield, 0. E. Montague, Gilbert Murray, C. P. Scott, H. G. Wells, and Basil Williams. If the honorable member for Kooyong would, only peruse the sources of information I have brought under his notice, provided he is capable of doing so, he would in time advance to the stage reached by General Gough today.

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