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Tuesday, 19 July 1904

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I understand that the honorable member for Hume has, with the concurrence of the Government, arranged for a party of honorable members to visit an altogether new site. That being so, the Government must have given consideration to his proposal.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the Commonwealth pay for all -these trips ?

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I shall not go into that question.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It will have to be gone into.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All I want to know is whether the Government have seriously considered the proposal of the honorable member for Hume?

Mr WATSON - I do not quite follow the trend of the honorable member's question. I am not quite sure whether he is alluding to the question of the time likely to be occupied, or the matter of the proposed new site.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am referring to the visit of honorable members to the site recentlv suggested.

Mr WATSON - Upon that head, I may say that the Government have no official information with regard to the suggested site except that which may have been conveyed to my honorable colleague, the Minister for Home Affairs, through the report of Mr. Chesterman, who has been making a contour survey of the sites in the Tumut district. The area which I understand some honorable members are anxious to visit is embraced within the territory near Tumut fixed upon by this Chamber some little time ago. The area then included the territory between Tumut and the Murray, which it is now suggested should be visited. With regard to the observation of the honorable member for Parramatta, as to the facilities to be given to honorable members, he is probably aware that opportunities have been offered to honorable members to visit several sites.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then any one may suggest a site?

Mr WATSON - As honorable members have visited some sites, we cannot prevent them from inspecting others. As I have said before, however, the facilities granted to honorable members must not . result in delaying the House in arriving at a determination.

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