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Tuesday, 22 March 1904

Mr WATSON (Bland) - I do not desire to do more in my reply than to express my gratification at the unanimity which prevails in the House in respect to the general tenor of this proposal. There have, indeed, been two honorable members who have expressed their antagonism to the idea which is involved in the motion, but they only serve to accentuate the unanimity of the rest of the House. Regarding the amendments which have been suggested, there is always a great difficulty in framing a motion which will embody accurately the desire of all of those who may be willing to support it. In this case there are almost as many varying ideas as. to what the phraseology of the motion should be, as there are honorable members willing to support its adoption. If I had consulted my own feelings and those of some of the honorable members with whom I am associated it would probably have been couched in stronger language than it is. But with a desire to secure unanimity, I was willing to forego my own views in that respect. I ask honorable members now to look rather to the spirit behind the motion than to attempt the almost impossible task of making it accurately express the views of each individual. I trust that the motion will be carried, not by an overwhelming majority, but without opposition at all, in the interests of our fellow-citizens in South Africa, who would have to suffer from the effects of this error if it were perpetrated.

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