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Wednesday, 27 July 1904

Mr KNOX ( Kooyong) - I am influenced in my attitude towards the Government proposal, first, by . the belief that every honorable member attaches great importance to the step we are about to take, and to the effect which it will have upon the future community of interests between the various States, and particularly between New South Wales and Victoria. I am influenced also by the conviction that every honorable member wishes the selected site to have the approval of the majority. Further, I hold that I must be influenced in the vote I shall give by the presumption that 'no honorable member will prostitute his position as a representative by casting his vote for the purpose of promoting the interests of any individual site against his own honest judgment. If this be the correct view to take, I was perfectly justified in urging last evening that it was better for us to place the whole of the districts upon a uniform footing before proceeding to vote with regard to them. I think that the Government proposal is in the direction of fairness, and that it will best enable us to arrive at a just decision, and to obviate the possibility of bitterness arising in New South Wales, owing to a decision being arrived at by means of ' a catch vote. Therefore, whilst I still favour the method under which we select a district, I think we should, first of all, decide amongst ourselves as to the best site in each area submitted to us. If we do this we shall place all the districts upon a uniform footing, and shall be able to deal with them fairly- and justly. We shall be in a position to give a straight out vote in connexion with each of the sites. If it can be shown that any improper voting has taken place in connexion with the selection of the sites, with a view to defeat the selection of any particular district, I shall hold myself free to take any action that may be. within my power to render abortive the action of the honorable members concerned, whose conduct, under such circumstances, must be regarded as dastardly if such means were adopted.

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