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Wednesday, 27 July 1904


Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) - I regret that the right honorable member for East Sydney has left the Chamber, because he devoted most of the time which he has occupied in addressing the House - and he has been talking a great' deal, in fact -we have had a perfect diarrhoea of words from him - in directing attention to myself. During the debate upon the resolutions he expressed himself in anything but reasonable, fair, or gentlemanly language, and subsequently he made what he intended to be a very severe and determined attack upon the Upper Murray site. Every one, however, must have recognised that he spoke in ' absolute ignorance. He has not visited that site, and consequently all his arguments were based upon what he has been told. Every statement that he made was absolutely without foundation. For example, when he declared that it was inaccessible, he did not know what he was talking about'. As a matter of fact the Welaregang site is one of the easiest to reach bv rail.


Mr Austin Chapman - If one has a flying machine.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What nonsense !


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable member is looking out for his political boss at the present time - he is waiting to seize upon anything that I may say. Had the right honorable member for East Sydney taken the trouble to inquire, he would have learned that the New South Wales Government have already had a flying survey of a railway made to within thirty miles of the centre of that site.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How many flying surveys have been made in New South Wales ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The honorable member's mind has been flying like a kite over Lyndhurst during the past twelve or eighteen months. I am very sorry that he has jockeyed the honorable member for Canobolas out of his rights, because if there be any site in the western district which is worthy of consideration, it is that of Orange.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member has a great regard for Orange.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the honorable member will speak afterwards it will be a very great convenience to me, because the reporters cannot take down two speeches at the same time. The construction of the railway to Welaregang is completed to Germanton, and flying surveys have been made to within thirty miles of this particular spot. The country is easy, and the cost would not be much. Indeed, it would, perhaps, be the cheapest line that could be constructed to any of the sites.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The report says that it would cost £600,000.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I should like the honorable member to visit the site for himself, and to judge of the matter in a practical way. I understand that the line can be built the distance for which it has been surveyed foi about £3,000 or £4,000 per mile, and there are only 'about four miles of difficult country to traverse afterwards.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then the report is unreliable?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am expressing the opinion of a surveyor who was there some years ago, and who possesses a knowledge of the district.


Sir John Forrest - To whom does the honorable member refer ?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - To Mr. Chesterman.


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is that the SUIveyor who accompanied the honorable member's party?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the honorable member will be quiet, and not conduct himself like a gibbering ape- .


Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member is a good judge of such things.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Whenever the honorable member is cackling on behalf of his leader he does not do himself justice. Upon another route, if the railway were extended from Gadara Gap, near Tumut, no engineering difficulties would be encountered.


Mr Austin Chapman - I thought that the honorable member suggested that the railway should be built from Yass.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I did nothing of the kind. I am not attacking the site advocated by the honorable member just now-


Mr Austin Chapman - I shall attack the site which is favoured by the honorable member.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Probably, before the debate is finished. I shall have something to say concerning the Bombala site. The length of this second projected railway would be about fortysix miles. When the Murray was crossed, difficult country would have to be covered in order to connect with the line at Tallangatta or Beechworth. If the Victorian Government desire an extension in this direction to the Murray, and thence to Tumut, so as to almost duplicate the line from Sydney, they should ascertain whether it is not possible to get a survey from Beechworth; but T believe the idea is to connect with the North-Eastern railway at Huon Lane.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Tallangatta route is very difficult country.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I know that. I do not wish to minimize the difficulties of constructing that railway. So much for the inaccessibility of this site. When honorable members recollect that within the past three or four weeks I have conducted two parties to the Welaregang site, that upon one occasion we travelled there and back within two days, and upon the other within four days, they will fully realize that it cannot be bad country to traverse.


Mr Austin Chapman - After an inch of rain it would bog a duck.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - More than an inch of rain had fallen there recently, and those honorable members who accompanied me upon visits of inspection will be able to gauge the accuracy or otherwise of the honorable member's assertion. I agree with the honorable member for Echuca that we should select country where there is mud. Country where there is no mud is of no value. So much for the statement of the right honorable member for East

Sydney regarding the inaccessibility of this particular site. Now, as to the class of country which it comprises. There is no spot in Australia - and I think it will be acknowledged that during my life I have travelled over this continent, from north to south, as much as have most men - of the same extent that is so beautiful.


Mr Austin Chapman - Nonsense.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have always been a great admirer of the richness of the country and of the scenery round about Tooma. In these respects it is superior to any other site that I have seen. Of course, Kosciusko is the great mountain of Australia, and a great feature in the landscape.


Sir John Forrest - Does the honorable member prefer it to Tumut?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am very fond of Tumut. I think it is a very admirable and beautiful place, and why many honorable members have been induced to discard Tumut is a mystery to me. The upper Murray is more extensive, and Kosciusko gives added grandeur. I do not say that it is positively the best site ; and honorable members are not going to put words into my mouth, with the deliberate intention of using them against me at another time. I will do my duty. I have never been afraid to do it. The right honorable member for East Sydney said, in a glib, off-hand sort of style, that he was going to put on one side all conditions of beauty and of grandeur of scenery, and that he was going down to the bed-rock of business.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He did not say it as the honorable member is saying it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - He attempted to say it like that. I want to know whether, so far as business is concerned, the right honorable member is going to treat this question as he has treated others throughout his political life. He is only trying to make believe. He made a glib speech, with a view to unfairly, improperly, and untruthfully-


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I rise to order.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must withdraw the expression " untruthfully."


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I should think so.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Untruthful in this sense - that the right honorable member said-


The CHAIRMAN - The word must be withdrawn, in whatever sense it may have been used. It was applied to an 'honorable member.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The right honorable member said that .he had been told this and that, and I say that he had been untruthfully told those things.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must withdraw the expression.. I do not wish to have any qualification.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I will withdraw it in my own way, and properly.


The CHAIRMAN - Will the honorable member resume his seat? I have asked the honorable member for Hume to withdraw the expression " untruthfully." I ask him to withdraw it without any, qualification.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I will withdraw it in my own way. This is not the first time that I have been treated in this style by the Chair.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must withdraw the term in a proper manner. As an old Member of Parliament he knows perfectly well-


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - And I know what the Chairman's duty is also.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must not interrupt the Chairman when he is speaking.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - And the Chairman must not sit on me.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member knows that there is only one way to withdraw, and that is unconditionally. I will ask him to follow the usual course.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am not going to withdraw the word unconditionally, if I am not going to be allowed to state what my meaning was.


The CHAIRMAN - I shall ask the honorable member to withdraw the expression, or I shall be compelled to adopt the course laid down by the Standing Orders.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - You can do so, but I have not used the word as you said 1 used it. . I will not have a meaning placed upon my words which I did not intend to convey.


The CHAIRMAN - I am desirous of giving the honorable member every opportunity, and I again ask him to withdraw the word. He may make any statement which he desires to make in explanation afterwards.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am not going to have any words put into my mouth which I did not use. If I had used the word complained of in the sense in which it has been taken, I would withdraw it; but I did not.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member is attempting to do something which he knows he cannot do. I ask him again to withdraw the statement which he has made.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have no statement to withdraw. What did I say ? I will not withdraw what I did not say.


The CHAIRMAN - Without any condition whatever the. honorable member must withdraw the- expression.

The honorable member for Hume leaving the Chamber,


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member for Hume must not leave the Chamber. Such conduct is contrary to the Standing Orders. If the honorable member leaves the Chamber he does so at. his own peril.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the honorable member for Hume to be treated differently from any other honorable member?


The CHAIRMAN - I- thought the honorable member for Parramatta desired to assist the Chairman in maintaining order.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I am not going to be bounced into anything. I did not make the statement which the Chairman has attributed to me.


The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member for. the last time if he will obey the direction of the Chair, and withdraw unconditionally the statement which he has made concerning another honorable member.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If the right honorable member for East Sydney says--


The CHAIRMAN - There is no "if."


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I cannot withdraw anything I have not said. I want to know what you think I said.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member has accused another honorable member of this House of making untruthful statements.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I did nothing of the kind. That is the point. What I say is this : If I have said a word which implies that the right honorable member for East Sydney deliberately told an untruth I withdraw it. But that is not what I intended to say.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member did not say what he intended.


The CHAIRMAN - I know perfectly well what the honorable member said. He used the words "untruthfully," "making statements untruthfully." That is what I wish him to withdraw. If he does not withdraw I have no recourse - and the honorable member knows that as well as I do - but to-


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes, I know, and I am prepared to accept the consequences. But the Chairman has asked me to do a thing that I cannot do. I did not accuse the right honorable member for East Sydney of making an untruthful statement. The right honorable member said in his speech that he was making statements that had been told to him, and those statements I said were untruthful.


The CHAIRMAN - Do I understand the honorable member to positively assert that he did not use the words that I have attributed to him?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Not in the sense in which the Chairman has implied that I applied them to the right honorable member for East Sydney.


The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member now if he positively says that he did not make the statement which I have said that he made?


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Not with the intention of making an accusation-


The CHAIRMAN - I do not refer to the intention. If the honorable member did not make the statement he need not withdraw anything. But if he made the statement he must withdraw it.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - If it is supposed that I applied the statement to the right honorable member for East Sydney, and that I accused him of being deliberately untruthful, I withdraw it. But I did not imply that. I did not intend to do so, and did not do so. What I intended to say, and what I believe I said, was that the right honorable member had made statements based upon statements made to him. I say that' those statements are untrue.


The CHAIRMAN - The statement which I heard distinctly was that the right honorable member for East Sydney had been making untruthful statements. Those were the words which I heard. If the honorable member did npt utter those words he need not withdraw.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have withdrawn them, if they are taken in that way.


The CHAIRMAN - I understand the honorable member has withdrawn the statement.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I do, if my statement was taken as the Chairman has interpreted it.


The CHAIRMAN - Then the honorable member may proceed.


Sir WILLIAM LYNE - What I meant to say was that the statements which the right honorable member for East Sydney had used, upon ' the authority of other people, are absolutely untrue, and that he should have ascertained if they were true before he used them in this House, instead of trying to influence honorable members' minds in a way that was not worthy of him. When he makes statements as to the question of scenery, and as to accessibility, based upon other people's reports, I say that he makes an unfair attack upon a particular site at the outset of a discussion which is going to last a considerable time. I repeat now what I said the other night, that the reason why I did not submit this particular site on a previous occasion, two or three years ago, was because I felt that it was so far south, and so near the Victorian border, that the Sydney people would object; and I was only induced afterwards to take any action upon it in consequence of the action taken by the honorable member for Grampians. That honorable member was very energetic in securing an extension of the territory named in the Bill dealt with last' session, so that it would include this site. I have obtained a copy of that measure, and find that it provided that'. the Federal site should be Tumut, but that the Federal territory should extend to the Murray River. That was the first occasion on which this . site was brought under th'e notice of the House. It was again brought forward by the honorable member for Grampians, with the result that the socalled picnics to which the right honorable member has unfairly referred, in terms that are most reprehensible, took place. I should like the right honorable member to put himself to some little inconvenience in order to secure more information relative to this and to other sites ; he certainly ought to do so before he speaks of the visits of inspection as picnics. He is too fond of the comforts of his own home - too fond of his own bed - to undergo the inconvenience of travelling to the various sites in order to secure that information which he really requires. It was not because Tooma is in my electorate that I joined in the request that it should be inspected. It is well known that I was very anxious last session to secure the selection of Tumut, because I believed it to be the best and most beautiful site. Now that I know that some of the other favoured sites - Bombala and Dalgety - are further south than is that advocated by the honorable member for Grampians, the objection which I had to the extension of the territory to the Murray is removed; provided, of course, that those other sites are to be considered. Tooma is more accessible than are some of the sites in the south-eastern district. It possesses one of the best climates in Australia, and comprises land which is, perhaps, unequalled in any part of the Commonwealth. There, also, are to be found the head waters of the only great river in Australia; but apart from the grandeur of the scenery - a consideration which the right honorable member has sought to belittle - there are many reasons why it should prove one of the best sites for the Capital. I did not intend to speak to-night, but, in view of the concentrated attack of the right honorable member for East Sydney, I felt that it was my duty, as the representative of the electorate which contains the site that has been so viciously attacked by him to make some reply at once and let the antidote go forth with the disease.

Progress reported.







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