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Thursday, 31 July 1902

Mr POYNTON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Had itbeen done by private contract the charge made would have been very much higher, and it is absurd and unjust to say that the South Australian officials tried to " get at " the Commonwealth. The Minister for Home Affairs, in one of his interviews, gave this as another instance of the way in which some of the States were trying to extract money out of the Commonwealth, although at that time the honorable gentleman did not know the particulars.

Mr Kingston - The Minister did not say the officers had tried to " get at " the Commonwealth.

Mr POYNTON - He was so reported, and he still contends that the charge was excessive, though I do not think other public works of the Commonwealth will be carried out at so moderate a rate.

Mr Kingston - Is this not something that South Australia will have to pay in the long run?

Mr POYNTON - I have already pointed out that if the charge was excessive South Australia will have to pay it ; but I contend that the charge was most moderate. In another case men were sent up country to do some work for the Post and Telegraph department ; and surely it was only fair that their railway fares should be charged against the Commonwealth. I do not want the Minister for Home Affairs to run away with the idea that the Superintendent of Public Works of South Australia is a man who will in any way attempt to deal unfairly with the Federal Government. It would only be proper to pay this money and withdraw the charge which has been made against South Australian officials.

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