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Friday, 24 June 1904

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Perhaps I may be permitted to say a few words in explanation. The Minister is perfectly right in saying that there was no demand for a preliminary understanding in regard to adding my name to the list of members constituting the Commission referred to. There was no necessity for any arrangement of that sort, because the Minister frankly informed me that he merely, proposed to add my name to the Commission, and not otherwise to alter its constitution. In reply to a question as to whether the personnel of the Commission was to undergo any further alteration, I stated that I understood from the Minister that it was not. That," however, was no " preliminary understanding." There was no necessity for a preliminary understanding, because the Minister intimated that fact to me upon the last occasion that he asked me to serve on the Commission. As he has already remarked, from the outset I was anxious to serve on the Commission, but was prevented from accepting the appointment in the first place by other reasons. Owing to requests from different quarters, I have yielded to what appears to be the general desire, and can only assure the House that I shall do all I can as a member of the Commission to further the objects of the inquiry.

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