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Tuesday, 14 June 1904

Mr WILKS (Dalley) - The honorable member for Melbourne Ports requires an assurance that the Government will not drop the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill in favour of the Seat of Government Bill, but let met ell him that this ' Parliament has dropped New South Wales for nearly four years over this question of the Federal Capital site. For nearly four years the settlement of the question has been delayed by various Ministries, and a delay of one day will not affect the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, which honorable members are so anxious about. Unquestionably the selection of the Federal Capital site is a burning question in New South Wales, not because of its importance to the State, but because it is a part of the compact which was made with the State. They desire the compact, to be respected, and they- are under the impression that by the delay in one Chamber or the other the Commonwealth has not been playing the game either properly or squarely. I do. not think that the people in the metropolitan area of New South Wales are very much concerned about a particular site, so long as it is suitable for the purpose; but they are certainly concerned about the speedy determination of the question. I hope that the Prime Minister will not delay the settlement of the matter, but will give an assurance that it will be dealt with at the speediest possible moment.

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