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Tuesday, 28 August 1906

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - In answer to the honorable member, I may say that 1 was at Ballarat on Friday night addressing a public meeting. I was asked to attend by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports. I did not know who was to be present, and I must say that this is the first occasion upon which I have heard the statement, which the honorable member for Barrier has just made, regarding an utterance by Mr. Atkins.

Mr Tudor - He made that statement most definitely.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I did not know anything about that. The honorable member for Melbourne Ports informs me that the invitation to attend the meeting came direct from Ballarat. The meeting which I addressed was-

Mr Fisher - A very successful one.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I was very successful ; but I scarcely know what sort of a meeting it really was.

Mr Thomas - What does the Minister think of a protectionist candidate who "barracks" for freedom of contract?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The paper which was placed in my hand described the policv of the promoters of the meeting as being of a " non-party and non-political character." I told them that I did not understand what sort of a party that could be. I repeat that until now I have never heard of the utterance of Mr. Atkins which has been quoted by the honorable member for Barrier.

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