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Friday, 17 June 1904

Sir JOHN FORREST - Most certainly I do. The sentiments expressed in the paragraph in question are mine, and I said a great deal more, which will doubtless appear in the Western Australian newspaper published in Perth, to-day. What I intended to convey was, that the Western Australian members of the Labour Party are not able to make their protest in the only effective way possible, namely, by withdrawing their allegiance from the present Government.

Mr CARPENTER - Seeing that the Western Australian representatives who are members of the Labour Party have publiclypledged themselves to resist any attempt to apply the common rule to the oversea mail steamers - that their attitude upon this, question is well known, and has been 'emphasized upon more than one occasion in this House-

Sir John Forrest - I acknowledge that.

Mr CARPENTER - I ask why the right honorable member -for Swan persists in making statements which are so absolutely opposed to facts?

Sir JOHN FORREST - In reply, I desire to say that I quite believe the Western Australian members of the Labour Party will adhere to their hustings pledges. I have never said anything to the contrary. But I would point out that merely to vote against a particular clause in a Bill is a very different matter from withdrawing support from a Government which is working all this mischief. If great injury is done by the Labour Party Government to Western Australia, the West Australian Labour members must take the responsibility-

Mr Fowler - It will be done only in a particular measure.

Sir JOHN FORREST - The power and influence of the Western Australian members of the Labour Party to prevent the proposals of the Government being attempted or carried out is as nothing compared with what it would be if they told the Prime Minister that, in the event of the Government persisting in their antiWestern Australian proposals, they would withdraw their support from it.

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