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Thursday, 3 November 1921

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . -I second the amendment, not because I am opposed to the motion proposed by Senator Thomas, but in order to meet 'the wishes of the Minister (Senator Russell), who, I take it, lis acting on behalf of the Government, who, I feel, would not suggest an amendment of this sort unless they were in earnest in making it, and prepared to carry it out. I have consulted with Senator Thomas, and, in view of the attitude of the Government, he, in common with the rest of my colleagues from New South Wales, is prepared to accept the compromise the Government have offered. It has been suggested by Senator Foster that there is no real urgency for the removal of the Seat of Government from Melbourne to Canberra. That statement is in keeping with the attitude adopted by Senators Wilson and Vardon when this matter was last under our consideration. Those honorable senators, like all intelligent people in the Commonwealth, pay an occasional pilgrimage to the queen city of the south - the city of Sydney - for the purpose, no doubt of enlightening their minds as to the most recent improvements in Australia, and educating themselves as to how things should be done. They visited

Sydney and stayed there for several hours. They spoke to a number of persons, heaven knows where or under what circumstances, but they came away with the idea that Sydney and - because of their experience there. - New South Wales also had no real interest in this matter of the Federal Capital, that the people do not want the Seat of Government transferred, and are satisfied that it should remain in Melbourne.

Senator Wilson - All except the politicians.

Senator DUNCAN - Senator Wilson said that the only persons in the Commonwealth whom he knows who desire that the great obligation which the other States entered into with New South Wales shall be honoured are a few politicians from New South Wales, who for some reason or other have a political axe to grind. Fortunately for those of us who represent New South Wales in the Senate and in another place, a fully representative body in New South Wales has had an opportunity of considering this very matter since it was last under consideration in the Senate.

Senator Wilson - That was a political organization.

Senator DUNCAN - It was an organization representative of organizations established all over New South Wales.

Senator Wilson - Which indorses my remarks.

Senator DUNCAN - It was representative of all sections of the community, employers, farmers, merchants, workers, and, therefore, representatives of every shade of political opinion. I have here a copy of the resolution carried at that Conference,' and which, I believe, has been supplied to all honorable senators. The resolution reads -

That the Nationalist members of New South Wales demand-

Senator Wilson - Read the former portion of the circular. It would be more interesting to the public.

Senator DUNCAN - Well, I will read the lot -

Dear Sir, - I have the honour, by direction of the annual conference, to forward for your kind attention the following motion, which was unanimously and enthusiastically carried: -

That the Nationalist members of New South 'Wales demand that the contract entered into between the people of Australia and New South Wales, re the Federal Capital being in New South Wales- be carried out by the transfer of the Parliament to Canberra, at a no later date than the- opening' of the next Federal Parliament, (Signed) Archdale Parkhill,

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