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Tuesday, 12 July 1904

Mr CULPIN (Brisbane) - I wish to make a personal explanation. On Thursday last the Melbourne Argus, in its report of the proceedings of this House on the preceding day, published a statement which is untrue, and a slander upon a respectable body of unionists, and which, at the same time, is made to appear as if I myself had given utterance to it. The words I complain of in the report are, "inspired by the British Medical Association," as they occur in the following connexion : -

Very little has been heard from Mr. Culpin, who is ... . the Labour member for Brisbane.

That is true. I do not rise to speak unless I have something to say. The paragraph continues -

It appears that before the last election a Brisbane paper published a statement inspired by the British Medical Association, that Mr. Culpin had once advised the Association to insist on a payment of 25s. per member from the friendly societies or refuse to take lodge practice.

The proposal to boycott there attributed to me was made before I arrived in the State, by certain medical men who were members of the Association. There is no reason to believe that the libellous paragraph which appeared in the Brisbane Telegraph was inspired by the British Medical Association. The final apology of that newspaper contained a passage which was a misrepresentation of a motion which was attached by it to my name, but which was really indorsed by the British Medical Association three years ago. I trust that the Argus will give the publicity to this explanation which it has already given to the false statement.

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