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Thursday, 1 May 1902


Mr FOWLER (Perth) - I shall support the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne, and I think I shall be able to justify my action in a few words. The honorable member for Coolgardie was quite right in saying that we incurred a good deal of expense - some of it perhaps entirely unnecessary - in connexion with the Commonwealth celebrations. We have paid the greater part of that money, and we have met claims which were perhaps made with very little justification, but we are under an obligation to the Governor-General, which I should be very sorry to see this Parliament attempt to repudiate. Lord Hopetoun was pressed by every State to come here and act as our Governor-General, and after his having taken it upon himself to spend money on behalf of the Commonwealth, I am surprised indeed to hear the present outcry. The proposed grant isa very reasonable one, which, I believe, will not recoup the Governor-General for his outlay. Under these circumstances I hope the committee will recognise that there is an obligation upon us to redeem this debt to the Governor-General. If any friend of mine incurred expenditure of a similar kind for me, and I heard- of it incidentally, I wonder whether I should be justified in cavilling at or questioning the amount. It has been pointed out that the GovernorGeneral has been kept out of the money due to him for twelve months. It is the duty of the committee to take the earliest opportunity of handing over what is owing to him. For this reason I heartily support the Government in attempting to get this sum passed at the earliest possible moment.







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