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Tuesday, 10 June 1902

Mr McCAY (Corinella) - I recognise that the present position of the committee is clue to the action of the Government, and I feel the greatest reluctance in voting for this proposal. I should vote against it if I did not think that we should be punishing the Governor-General, who would have to meet expenditure which he was under the impression would be provided for by the Government out of the public funds. I blame the Government for having, without testing the feeling of honorable members, assumed that they would be willing to vote these allowances, but the refusal to vote the money now will not mend matters. The Government have not fairly treated the House or His Excellency theGovernorGeneral, and the proof that they have not acted wisely is afforded by the fact that it has been necessary to disclose what took place at interview after interview between the Governor-General and his advisers. There should never be any necessity to disclose the results of interviews between the Governor-General and his advisers. The question of the Governor-General's allowances should have been settled from the outset, and honorable members should have been afforded a clear idea as to the total expenditure in connexion with the GovernorGeneral's establishment. The items should be properly grouped together instead of being scattered through the Estimates. We should know distinctly to the last penny what it is costing the community to maintain the position of the Governor-General.

Mr Deakin - That is to be done. A distinct statement is to be made of all. allowances and expenditure in connexion with the Governor - General's establishments.

Mr McCAY - It is on the faith of that promise that I shall support, not the Government, but the proposal to recoup for the expenditure which His Excellency the Governor-General was given to understand would be met out of public funds. It is apparent from the fact that the Treasurer and Prime Minister told His Excellency after the Governor-General's Establishment Bill had been amended, that the money which he had already expended would be recouped to him - that the previous understandingwas of an entirely differentcharacter.We were not able to obtain from the Prime Minister a definite statement as to what took place at former interviews, and I am sorry that he is not here to explain the discrepancy between his statements and those we have recently heard. He never explained to us what has since been made clear by the Treasurer, and we can only infer that His Excellency was given to. understand from the first that his allowances would be paid in accordance with the practice previously followed in the States. In however false a position we may feel that we have been placed by the dilatoriness of the Government, we are bound to reimburse His Excellency.

Question - That the item "Expenses of Governor-General's Establishment, £5,000 " be agreed to - put. The committee divided -

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