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Thursday, 9 October 1902

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable and learned member has asked his question in a rather dictatorial manner, which I resent. I want to know from him first to what trip does he refer ?

Mr Isaacs - The trip about which the honorable gentleman has been talking to the newspaper reporters so often of late.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the honorable and learned member wishes me to say that I am not going to give facilities to members of this Parliament to visit the various States, I shall not do so. I intend to give such facilities if I can. The trip to which the honorable and learned member refers is a visionary matter, which is being fanned by the press in an unfair and untruthful manner. The statement in this morning's newspapers that the wives of members are to be taken is on a par with other statements which have been made on the subject. I resent such statements, but, so far as possible, I intend to give honorable members who canill afford to visit the other States at their own expense a reasonable and inexpensive opportunity to do so, either by taking a steamer or by going overland. This latter arrangement is a matter for honorable members to deal with themselves, and it is not being considered in any way by myself or by the Government.

Mr Poynton - Is the honorable gentleman going to New Guinea ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It is very likely that I shall go myself, whether other honorable members do or do not go with me. It is very reasonable that a trip of this kind should be taken, so that honorable members may know what they are legislating about. It is essential that this Parliament should not be practically legislating for a dark continent. Without binding myself or the Government to any method of assisting members to visit the various States - because nothing has yet been decided - I intend to try to provide facilities to enable them to do so ? At the present time there is only the visionary statement of the press that an extraordinary trip is to be taken here, there, and everywhere.

Mr Isaacs - Well, what is the truth about the matter ? What are the intentions of the Government on the subject?

Mr Mauger - Are the Governmentgoing to provide spirits and cigars?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the country would not do it, I would do it at my own expense, and not ask the Government to pay a penny for it. I am quite prepared to take the responsibility for anything I do in the matter. I am not going to organize an expensive tour, which will injure the taxpayers of Victoria or of the other States, but I do not know as much - though I know as much as most people - as I should like to know about other parts of Australia, and other honorable members are in the same position. Living here during a long session such as is about to close, they have no opportunity to make themselves acquainted with places other than Victoria. All I have to say is that there is not to be an expensive trip, but that I shall help honorable members in every way I can to visit the other States.

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