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Thursday, 28 July 1904

Mr BATCHELOR (Boothby) (Minister of Home Affairs) - The position of the Government in regard to this mattei is this : Having entered upon the consideration of the Bill, we intend to carry the discussion right on. We do not intend to allow anything to interfere with the completion of the business in hand, which is the settlement of the Federal Capital question. The request for further information about the Tooma site, is, I admit, a very natural one, and, so far as the Government may be able to comply with it between now and next Tuesday they will do so. . But I am not prepared to consent to any further investigation that will involve delay. I admit, of course, that it is unfortunate that the particular site which has been mentioned has not received so close an investigation as have some of the other sites, but the fault does not lie with the Government. All I can say is that any further reasonable investigation which can be made without causing any delay shall be undertaken. The Government cannot promise more than that.

Mr Austin Chapman - Will the Government ask the New South Wales Government to furnish an approximate estimate of the cost of connecting the site by rail?

Mr BATCHELOR - Does the honorable, member think that it is possible to get that information?

Mr Austin Chapman - The New South Wales Government have had trial surveys made through the district, and can furnish an approximate estimate.

Mr BATCHELOR - I have not the slightest objection to asking the Government of New South Wales for that information if they can supply it in time, but I am inclined to question their ability to, do so. I presume that the honorable member means that we should obtain an approximate estimate of the cost of connecting the site with Germanton. I dare say that could be furnished.

Progress reported.

House adjourned at 11.37 P-m-

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