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Thursday, 14 December 1905

Mr BROWN (Canobolas) - I understand that, according to the terms of the motion, honorable members, when considering the Bill, will be limited to the discussion of the merits of Dalgety. In view of the fact that the opinions of honorable members were pretty evenly divided as to the merits of three different sites--

Mr Frazer - But we adopted one site. Mr. BROWN. - A good many honorable members who voted in favour of that site say that they did so under a misapprehension.

Mr Chanter - Would it not be better to allow the matter to rest for the present?

Mr BROWN - I do not know what reason has actuated the Government in rushing the matter forward at present.

Mr Wilks - The Prime Minister is merely keeping the promise he made a week ago.

Mr BROWN - I understood from that promise that we should be free to consider the selection of sites other than Dalgety ; and if the scope of the measure is limited in the manner now proposed, honorable members willnot receive fair treatment. There is not a majority of honorable members in favour of any one site.

Mr FRAZER (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - A majority of both Houses voted in favour of Dalgety.

Mr BROWN - Dalgety secured the largest number of votes on the final ballot, but the largest number of straight-out votes were recorded in favour of Lyndhurst at the first ballot.

Mr Crouch - Does the honorable member think that we ought to consider the matter after the threatening attitude assumed by Mr. Carruthers?

Mr BROWN - We need not consider Mr. Carruthers at all. We are not bound by any action he may take. We should endeavour to meet the State Government as far as we can, but if they are unreasonable we cannot help it. It is for us to do what we consider just, both to the Commonwealth and the State. I hope the Government will make their proposal wide' enough to enable honorable members to consider sites other than Dalgety.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

Ordered -

That Mr. Groom and Mr. Deakin do prepare and briny in a Bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.

Bill presented by Mr. Groom, and read a first time.

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