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Tuesday, 26 August 1902

Sir LANGDON BONYTHON (South Australia) - At this late hour I do not intend to take up the time of the committee at any length ; butI feel that it is a pity that the matter has occupied the attention of honorable members at all. It will be seen from the correspondence which was laid on the table of the House to-day by the Acting Prime Minister, that the Minister for Home Affairs, when Premier of New South Wales, suggested to the Colonialoffice that, as the Federal Parliament would meet in Melbourne, it was desirable to determine that the, official residence of the Governor-General should be in Sydney when Parliament was not sitting. Mr. Chamberlain, in reply to that representation, said that he had no objection to the arrangement if the federating States agreed to it, if the Federal Government when it came into existence approved of it, and if the necessary provision were made to carry it out. As a matter of fact, however, the federating States did not agree to it, and the Federal Government, in failing to act on the suggestion of Mr. Chamberlain to obtain the opinion of Parliament on the subject at the earliest moment, have caused all the trouble which has occurred in the past, and the discussion which has taken place to-day. Personally, I feel rather in a difficulty. I in no way object to the amount the Government are asking for in this resolution. I think the sum proposed is very reasonable indeed ; nor do I object that that money should be expended both in Sydney and in Melbourne. But I feel that we as a Parliament should be very careful to do nothing by which it might seem to be incumbent upon the Governor-General to maintain two establishments. With the greatest possible readiness I shall be prepared to give the amount of money asked for in this resolution, in addition to the £10,000 provided in the Constitution as the salary of the Governor-General, but I desire that there should be the clearest understanding that the Govern or- General is expected to have only one establishment, and that he can reside elsewhere as may be convenient to himself. Of course, I realize that in practice the Governor- General will reside in

Melbourne when Parliament is in session, and that he will reside in Sydney for the most part when Parliament is not sitting, but I think honorable members should be very careful indeed not to affirm that there should be two Government residences, because if any affirmation of that kind is made, we may depend upon it that the amountasked for to-night will be only a part of the amount which will be asked for in future years.

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