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Wednesday, 30 July 1902

Sir JOHN QUICK (Bendigo) - I think it would be very invidious to provide that this advertisement should be inserted in the metropolitan newspapers only. Such a course of action would constitute a gross injustice to the provincial press. There are many good country newspapers, which are quite as much entitled to consideration as are the metropolitan dailies. Upon the whole, however, I think it would be wise to provide that this advertisement shall be inserted only in the Commonwealth Gazette. That would meet all the requirements of the case, and would be in the interests of economy. All the newspapers appeal very anxious to criticise Parliament in connexion with the new expenditure, so that it is time we begun to economize in that direction.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Batchelor) agreed to-

That the proposed new clause be amended by inserting after the word " than" the words " the Commonwealth Gazette."

Sir John Quick - I wish to know how the clause reads.

Sir William Lyne - Ask the honorable member for South Australia, Mr. Batchelor.

Mr. BATCHELOR(South Australia).The fact that the clause as amended will require to be redrafted in order to make it read properly, illustrates the difficulty of dealing with new provisions which are not put before the committee in print. The Minister for Home Affairs is the only honorable member who has the new clause before him, and he should either suggest an alteration, or allow the clause to pass as it stands, and recommit it.

Mr Glynn - The words " not more than " should be struck out.

Mr BATCHELOR - Yes ; but we cannot go back. The provision will require to be redrafted.

Sir William Lyne - I shall withdraw the clause altogether.

Mr BATCHELOR - With all deference to the Minister for Home Affairs, I think that it is unbecoming for him to do anything which may appear to be an exhibition of pique because of his defeat on the last vote. Honorable members are here topass the Bill in a form that appears to them to be most satisfactory, and every honorable member is equally responsible in the matter with the Minister himself. I do not believe in being threatened by the honorable gentleman, or any one else, and I claim that, as the representative of the Government, the Minister is in duty bound to assist the committee in framing the Bill in accordance with their wishes. Of course, he is perfectly right in endeavouring to carry out his desires, but for him to attempt to throw the onus for the difficulty which has occurred upon the honorable member who moved the amendment, is to give an exhibition of pique which I think is unwarranted.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am much obliged to the honorable member for the lecture which he has just delivered, and. I shall probably profit very much by it.

The honorable member has accused me of being piqued, but he does not really know what he is referring to. I think the clause is a very unimportant one, and what I propose to do is to ask the committee to negative it. If it be the desire of honorable members, I will then bring in a new clause. I doubt very much whether it is necessary to do more than to negative the clause, because, in view of the vote just given by the committee, the advertisements will be published in the Gazette. That would be done in any case, and no direction is required.

Mr Crouch - But they are to be published only in the Commonwealth Gazette.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There is no authority for anything else. The new clause, as introduced, gave the Government a limited authority to publish the advertisements in certain newspapers. The committee have decided now that they shall appear in the Gazette, and that will be done. I propose, therefore, to ask the committee to negative the clause, and if it be the desire of honorable members to limit the power of the Government in the matter of the publication of these advertisements in any newspaper, I shall bring in a new clause. As it stands at present the clause is unintelligible, and cannot be amended without a great deal of difficulty.

Sir EDWARDBRADDON (Tasmania). - I think that the best the Minister can do is to follow his very frequent practice, and jettison this clause. As soon as the honorable gentleman sees that the numbers are up against him, he is prepared to throw over this, that, and the other clause, and make it appear that he had really no object in moving them. I think that this clause might very well be omitted, and many other honorable members hold the same view.

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