Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 16 March 1904

Sir JOHN FORREST -I am ata loss tounderstand why suchastatement should have beenmade. Surely if 'the result of unionhas beentobenefit one particular State more thanwas anticipatedthat isa matter forgeneralcongratulations. The fact that one Stateis prosperous whilstan other asnot,oughtnot tobe acause for regret, but rather one fot rejoicing. We must recognise that no State can prosper without conferring a benefituponthe other States. Is itnot acause for congratulation that Western Australia annually purchases nearly£3,000,000 worth of goods from the eastern States'? Is it not a good thing for Australia thatevery year nearly 50,000 people travel to and from that State because of its prosperity ? The statement of the right honorable member is really too silly. Were it not for the fact that he occupies a high place in the political life of this continent, that he is a leader of public opinion, and a man who for years filled the office of Premier of South Australia, I should not take the trouble to refute it.

Mr Kingston - Let the Minister disprove my statements if he can.

Sir JOHN FORREST - I again desire to emphasize the fact that the sliding scale under which Western Australia joined the Federation merely means that its people have to pay the extra duty themselves. Of course some of my honorable friends opposite may urge that it is the people of the eastern States who pay it, but I cannot agree with that view. Western Australia receives that which its people have previously contributed through the Customshouse. Can it be - I hope it is not - that the right honorable member's statement was prompted by the fact that Western Australia has progressed more rapidly than "his own dear State." Is he jealous-

Mr Batchelor - Why talk such rubbish?

Sir JOHN FORREST - I will tell the honorable member why South Australia has not progressed so rapidly as has Western Australia.

Mr Kingston - Will the Minister tell it truly, if he can?

Sir JOHN FORREST - It has not progressed like Western Australia because it has had too much of the " Kiingstonia " drug during past years - -

Mr Kingston - Bosh

Suggest corrections