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Tuesday, 17 July 1906

Mr DEAKIN - In reply to the honorable and learned member, I desire to say that a draft commercial convention was signed both by Mr. Seddon and myself, but in consequence of the lamented and unexpected death- of the late Premier of New Zealand, the Government were requested by his surviving colleagues to defer any publication of its terms until they had a further opportunity of considering it. Owing to the fact that they did not receive the papers of their late chief at the time the New Zealand Parliament met and adjourned for two months, they had no opportunity of seeing all the details of the agreement. Our understanding was that it should be laid upon the tables of the Houses of the New Zealand Parliament and of the Commonwealth Parliament simultaneously. As soon as the New Zealand Government are ready, we are prepared to lay it upon the table.

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