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Wednesday, 28 May 1902

Mr HIGGINS (NORTHERN MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - Neevetherless, we should object to the Colonial Office dictating to Ministers, or even expressing their views to Ministers. Mr. Chamberlain . also observes : -

During the period preceding the establishment of the federal capital, it is intended that the Governor-General should OCCUpY the Government Houses at both Sydney and Melbourne.

Who told Mr. Chamberlain of this 1 It was not the Commonwealth Government,, because it had not been formed at this time. Who told Mr. Chamberlain that the Governor-General was to occupy two residences 1 There was evidently some correspondence between Mr. Chamberlain and the Government of New South Wales, because/Mr. Chamberlain says -

I have already suggested to the Government of New South Wales that until some provision has been made for entertainment allowance, the Governor-General should not be expected to entertain largely at Sydney.

This looks very much as if the Government of New South Wales had been writing to Mr. Chamberlain. What made the Government of New South Wales suggest anything with regard to the Governor-General, who is an officer of the Commonwealth, and not an officer of the New South Wales Government 1 Why should Mr. Chamberlain allow his judgment to be affected by representations made by the Government of any particular State 1 It appears as if the Government of New South Wales had suggested that there must be provision made for the residence of the Governor-General in Sydney, because Mr. Chamberlain says -

I have an assurance that a Bill will be introduced into the New South Wales Parliament to provide the allowance.

This refers to the entertainment allowance. Behind all the talk as to the amount of the allowance there is the more important question of our relation to the Colonialoffice, and I strongly protest against the action of Mr. Chamberlain in directing the Governor-General to inform his Ministers of what he expects them to do. I am glad that the Government made no answer to this despatch. Mr. Chamberlain appears to have been influenced by two false notions as to matters of fact. One of his impressions seems to be that the people of Australia have a vulgar desire to be entertained ; that we have the vulgarity to pay a man a certain amount of money in order that he may spend it upon champagne for us. I do not think that is the prevailing idea of Australians.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable and learned member suppose Mr. Chamberlain cares twopence how the Governor entertains t The honorable and learned member is endeavouring to side-track the discussion.

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