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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr WEST (East Sydney) (11:28 AM) . - I feel confident that when he is older the honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) will be very sorry for many things which he has said in his youth. The honorable member seems to have taken umbrage at the decision of the House with regard to the recommendation of the Public Works Committee. The erection of national public buildings like the Parliament House is usually spread over a long period of time. The British House of Commons, I believe, was seventy or' eighty years in the building. Many of the fathers of my old schoolfellows were engaged as apprentices on that building, and were still working on it in their old age. The Parliament House at Ottawa also took a long time to erect, and we know the history of the Capitol at Washington. I also remind the honorable member that in twenty:five years time when, perhaps, the erection of the permanent building may be under consideration, it may be necessary to provide accommodation for a much larger number of members than at present constitute this Parliament. The trend of Australian politics is every day in the direction of Unification . and the abolition of State Parliamentary institutions, is quite likely that within the next decade or two there will be a substantial addition, to the number of members of this Parliament. The Prime Minister has discovered that Melbourne is not the only place in the Commonwealth, and in a very fine spirit has asked the Committee to disagree with the attempt made by the Senate to dictate to this Chamber in this matter. On a previous occasion when the Senate disagreed with a decision of this House, and it was insisted on, honorable senators showed their wisdom by admitting that this House had the control of the pursestrings. I feel sure that the Senate will be glad of the opportunity to reverse its decision on this occasion, because honorable senators will fear a double dissolution.

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