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Tuesday, 23 August 1921

Senator LYNCH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Regarding the same matter, I wish to ask the Leader of the Senate whether the Government considers it has paid any compliment to the League of Nations, or its members, in appointing Mr. Shepherd - a civil servant, with no parliamentary experience or status - as its representative. Is it fair to this Parliament, the elect of the people, that such an appointment should be made? Conceding that it was necessary to go outside this Parliament in making such an appointment, does not the Government think that it could have made a better selection from, say, the Judiciary of the several States, the leading ranks of the Naval or Military Forces, or the Universities of the several States?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - So many questions are contained in the remarks made by Senator Lynch that it would not be possible, offhand, to reply specifically to any of them. I may, however, inform the Senate that the Government, when the question of the appointment was first brought forward for consideration, communicated with the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) asking him to consider the possibility of obtaining a suitable representative in London. The time was short, and, as honorable senators know, the distance is long. I have no information as to the reasons which induced the Prime Minister to appoint Mr. Shepherd or as to what inquiries he made in other directions. I am aware only of the mere fact conveyed in his cablegram to the Government that he has appointed Mr. Shepherd. If further information can be obtained in the course of the next day or two, I shall gladly make it available to the Senate.

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