Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 1 June 1904

The CHAIRMAN - The question before the Chair is a specific amendment, and not the Bill generally. I must ask the honorable member to confine his remarks to that question.

Mr WILSON - This is a very im:portant matter. I like to hear both sides of a question discussed at all times, and I am sorry that no arguments have been advanced in favour of this proposal by honorable members opposite. Why is there this conspiracy of silence?

Mr Hughes - Ask me not in mournful numbers. If the honorable member will sit down, I shall be only too happy to reply.

Mr WILSON - When the Minister of External Affairs was addressing the Chamber, I did not ask him to sit down. I allowed him to finish what he had to say. I did not remonstrate with him for interjecting when other honorable members were addressing the Chair, and he used that privilege very freely; but when he himself rose to speak he resented the exercise of this right on the part of other honorable members.

Mr Watson - That is natural.

Mr WILSON - It may be; but at the same time it is not what I regard as sportsmanlike. Every honorable member," no matter on what side of the House he may sit, should have a fair opportunity to express his opinion. I hope that honorable members will clearly give utterance to their views ; that they will not be gagged, but will fully discuss the question at issue, although even a month be occupied in the consideration of it. The amendment is one of grave importance, both to the Federation and ;to the States. If we allow it to be carried we shall inflict a very grievous wrong upon the people of the individual States, as well as upon the States themselves, and certainly add nothing whatever to the prestige of the Federal Parliament.

Suggest corrections