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Friday, 24 June 1904

Mr FISHER (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - In reply to the honorable member I wish to state that, from the very first, it was almost universally .desired that the honorable member for North Sydney should accept a position on the Commission. It certainly was the wish of the Ministry, and the honorable member was the very first man whom I approached upon the matter. That, I think, sufficiently indictates my own view. From the outset he straightforwardly acknowledged that he desired to serve on the Commission, but that his other duties prevented him from giving a final answer off-hand. At the last moment, however, he reluctantly withdrew, though he did not wholly withdraw his services from that Commission. It was the desire of the Government and of myself that his name should be added to the list of those who had already been appointed members of that Commission. The honorable member made no condition whatever. We are exceedingly glad to be able to add his name to those ' of the other members of the Commission, but any insinuations that he imposed conditions is not in keeping with his standing in this House. He trusted himself entirely to the Government. I intimated at the time that there would be no other alteration made in the personnel of the Commission.

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