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Tuesday, 26 August 1902

Mr HENRY WILLIS - I am glad to hear honorable gentlemen say " No." It indicates a desire to do the correct thing, and the first step to be taken in that direction is to honorably keep the compact entered into in . regard to the occupancy of the Sydney Government-house.

Mr Fowler - If the Sydney people see as much of the Governor-General as the Melbourne people do, they may become satisfied, and not push forward the federal capital question.

Mr HENRY WILLIS - I do not think there is any fear of that. Perhaps, individually, the people of New South Wales do not regard this matter as of much importance, but they wish to see the position of Governor-General properly maintained, and they consider that for the proper maintenance of the position it is necessary that he should reside for at- least one- third of the year in Sydney. A great deal has been said about the expense of this arrangement, but it must not be forgotten that at least £1,000, or more than a third of the whole amount, will be provided by the people of New South Wales, and, as they have already spent so large a sum in providing for the accommodation of the Governor-General in Sydney, surely the people of the other States will not hesitate to make up the balance of the expenditure.

Mr. L.E. GROOM (Darling Downs).When a somewhat similar question was before Parliament on a previous occasion honorable members took up an attitude in connexion with it which I think has met with the approval of the people outside. Our attitude then was that we desired to see the" office of the Governor-General upheld with dignity, and were willing to provide a reasonable allowance to that end. But we wished it to be distinctly understood the occupancy of the position should be in accordance with the ideals of the Commonwealth, which were ideals of simplicity and of economy. The proposal to expend £13,030 upon the upkeep of the Governor-General's establishment has now been reduced to £5,500, which shows that 'the Government are taking their lesson to heart.

Mr Poynton - Does the honorable and learned member think that the amount now set down will cover the whole cost?

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