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Wednesday, 28 May 1902

Mr MACDONALD PATERSON (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) - One reason was the unwarrantable precipitancy of the action of the Government, and I endeavour as far as possible to devote my limited talents to matters of which I have some knowledge. The Governor-General came here under the most splendid auspices in full favour with the Royal Family. He had had much experience in the performance of the most delicate duties that could fall to the lot of man in any great family in the world. He had had experience of Australian life, in Victoria principally, and was held in high esteem by every man and woman in the State. He came back with a high reputation, and no one can say that up to the present time he has not fulfilled his duties well. If he has " shaken out his dollars " and cast the sovereigns abroad, why has he done so 1 Primarily from a strong feeling of loyalty, and with a high conception of the duties and functions of his position. He was the first Governor-General of what we have been pleased to call a new nation, which is full of the wealth of the " golden fleece," and can boast of a shipping trade representing millions of tons per annum. These observations simply represent the idea which people in Canada, America, and elsewhere have of Australia ; and yet all this trouble has arisen in connexion with a sum of money which, under proper arrangements, might have represented not more than £5,000 per annum, or £30,000 for the whole term of office, including the £10,000 already granted for the expenses of the Royal visit. There is no doubt that every newspaper in the United Kingdom, to go no further, has published the fact of our scant supply of funds for the successful performance of the functions of the GovernorGeneral. If only the bare salary of £10,000 had to be paid to the Governor-General, why was that not set forth in the Constitution ? Lord Hopetoun has always been a man in every sense of the word, and so were all his predecessors. His uncle was one of the first pioneers in agriculture in Queensland. He promoted the employment of labour there; and, as the result of his experience in other tropical countries, he was able to educate the people of that State to utilize their land in the growth of pine-apples, bananas, sugar-cane, and other products. I wish to say, in conclusion, that nothing has happened in our history - and I have been here since a boy - which has so discouraged me as this political blot upon the escutcheon of my adopted country - the Commonwealth of Australia.

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