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Tuesday, 15 December 1914

That is all the correspondence in reference to the matter, and I naturally concluded that with the closing letter of mine the whole incident had terminated, and no more would be heard of it. Unfortunately, however, the press continued to make a noise, and to buttonhole members regarding the matter, and made repeated attempts to have it ventilated in another place. Finally, they did succeed, and Mr. Speaker and myself regret exceedingly that the whole matter has had to be made public, especially as the Argus and the Age made most handsome apologies. We desired, in the circumstances, that nothing more should be heard about it; but the pressmen were not satisfied, and forced the issue, thus compelling Mr. Speaker and myself to publish the whole correspondence. The trouble arose in the first place because the Joint House Committee and the

Joint Library Committee found it necessary during the last session to remind the press representatives in this building of the privileges to which they were entitled, and acting on behalf of these Committees the then Speaker, Mr. Johnson, and myself informed the press representatives accordingly. Subsequently, an erroneous impression, diligently fostered by the pressmen, got about that their privileges had been either curtailed or restricted. Nothing of the kind has been done. The only thing that was done, and it was done unanimously by the two Committees, was to call the attention of the press, politely and courteously, to the rules which govern their attendance in this Parliament, and the privileges that they did legitimately enjoy. The members of the press appeared to he very dissatisfied with this, and continued to agitate for some time for a reconsideration of the matter. It was again considered this session by the Joint House Committee.

Senator Millen - Were they making representations with a view to enlarging their privileges ?

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