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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.







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