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Thursday, 4 September 1902

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think that members of the Opposition have just as much right to demand from the Government the reasons which actuated them in declining to accede to the reasonable requests of the Senate as has the honorable and learned member for Indi in bases where the Government propose to accede to them. He has, apparently, altogether misinterpreted the opinions expressed last evening by the acting leader of the Opposition. Honorable members upon this side of the chamber were not satisfied to allow these items to pass unchallenged. I have no desire to repeat all that has been previously stated in this connexion, but we feel just as strongly now as we ever did upon the necessity of acceding to many of the requested amendments. Personally I regret that more substantial requests were not made. We must all realize that most of the high duties operating were carried with the assistance of the Victorian representatives. The free-traders of the Federal Parliament represent a majority ofthe electors.

Mr A McLEAN (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - They were not very anxious to meet their majority yesterday.


Mr A McLEAN (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - They were afraid of a dissolution.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member talks about a dissolution, but if he and the Government desire it, we are prepared to go beforethe people of the country to-morrow morning. We recognise that the electors are behind us.

Mr A McLEAN (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) - The free-traders had their chance, and they laid down.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member knows full well that, taking the number of votes polled for the various candidates at the federal election-

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