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Friday, 29 July 1904

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He might, but what would be the advantage gained by asking Mr. Wade's opinion upon matters which did not concern him, and which are not connected with the question before us in any way ? The object could only be to try to influence the minds of honorable members adversely to Mr. Wade's opinion. At one moment the honorable member says that Mr. Wade is an honest man, and in the next he says that we should have him here" that we may ask him about these failures.

Mr McLean - An honest man may make a mistake.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member also suggests that Mr. Pridham should be brought here if Mr. Wade is to be consulted. I should like to point out that the figures quoted by the honorable member for Macquarie, were Mr. Pridham's figures. Mr. Wade has taken Mr. Pridham's figures, and on them he has based his report.

Mr McLean - If they are Mr. Pridham's figures, he is the engineer we should consult, and not Mr. Wade.

Mr Austin Chapman - Mr. Pridham has said that Dalgety has a better water supply than Lyndhurst can ever have, and Mr. Wade does not agree with that.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not the question at all. I am prepared to admit that there is a better water supply at Dalgety than at Lyndhurst; but what we are concerned about is to establish the fact that an adequate water supply may be obtained at Lyndhurst for all the purposes cf a Federal Capital. I am not concerned to deny that there may be better water supplies found elsewhere in New South Wales. What we say is that in this neighbourhood, which has been so much maligned by some honorable members in this particular respect, there is an abundance of water, and more than the Federal Capital will ever require. It is the more advisable that we should take advantage of Mr. Wade's engineering skill, as he is already in Melbourne, and we can secure his advice without delay to the final determination of the question before us.

Mr Austin Chapman - He is in Melbourne at the request of the Lyndhurst site supporters.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not know who brought him here.

Mr Austin Chapman - The honorable member for Macquarie says that he telegraphed for him.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am prepared to admit that. I hope the honorable member did ; it would be but evidence of his industry and enterprise in this matter. May I remind honorable members that the Government of New South Wales are in favour of the Lyndhurst site? I submit respectfully that a site which is recommended by the Government, and is to be recommended by the Parliament of New South Wales, is entitled to their serious consideration.

Mr Austin Chapman - The New South Wales Government are not in favour of it.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All I have to say to that is that the Premier of New South Wales announced to the country only the other day that if returned to power he would ask the Parliament of New South Wales to recommend Lyndhurst to the Federal Government.

Mr Austin Chapman - He said he would leave it an open question.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member is quite wrong.

Mr Austin Chapman - Why not be fair and state that Lyndhurst is in his own electorate ?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Not only Mr. Waddell, but all the influential members of the late Government in New South Wales hold the same opinion of Lyndhurst. I submit that a site favoured by the Government of the State which has to grant the land, and which has spent a very large sum of money in facilitating the object we have in view> should be considered. The New South Wales Government have sent over an engineer with a special report upon the water supply at Lyndhurst, and we should, in courtesy to them, hear what this engineer has to say. It is the more important that we should hear him since we had last night an expert opinion adverse to Lyndhurst as a site from the right honorable member for Swan. Nothing more damaging to the character of Lyndhurst as a suitable site for the Federal Capital could be urged than the opinion offered by the right honorable member.

Sir John Forrest - It was offered some time ago; the report has been on the table for some time.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am referring to the right honorable member's remarks last night. He told us that it would be absolutely dangerous in summer time if the. scheme suggested by this engineer were carried out.

Sir John Forrest - I do not think I said that.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The right honorable member told us that the water stored would become polluted in summer, and would be a source of danger.

Sir John Forrest - I referred to the artificial lake suggested.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I could not imagine a more severe condemnation of the scheme than we had from the right honorable member.

Sir John Forrest - The lake need not be made.

Mr SPEAKER - I think the honorable member for Parramatta must see that the remarks he is making now are really but a continuation of the debate upon another question. The mere fact that he is replying to some remarks made in that debate is a proof that the honorable member is transferring to this question debate which should take place in Committee. I must ask the honorable member not to anticipate the debate in Committee.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not. quite see how I can avoid it. I quite admit what you say, Mr. Speaker, but. on the other hand, the very purpose of moving the motion for the adjournment of the House is to ask that special engineering skill shall be made available for the purpose, amongst other things, of furnishing information concerning statements made during the course of the debate in Committee. While I know the rule of Parliament that an honorable member cannot, upon a motion for the adjournment, allude to a debate proceeding at another time and place, in this instance it is almost unavoidable. However, I will not further transgress. But I do say that, in view of the very serious statements made by the right honorable member for Swan on the question of the water supply of Lyndhurst, it is of the very utmost consequence that the House should avail itself of every opportunity to test their truth. Leaving out of sight the advocates, or partisans, as they have been called, of Lyndhurst - and I do not object to the term - I urge that the fact that this site is abour to be officially recommended for consideration by the Government of New South Wales-

Mr Austin Chapman - That is absurd; half the members of the New South Wales Government are against it. The honorable member knows that himself.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We know nothing of the kind.

Mr DAVID THOMSON (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) - Lyndhurst is in Mr. Waddell's electorate.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I know that., but what has it to do with the question ? Why does not the honorable member make a similar interjection concerning sites which are in the electorates of other honorable members?

Mr DAVID THOMSON (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) - The remarkapplies to them in just the same way

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Honorable members opposite make such interjections with regard, to those who favour Lyndhurst, but not concerning the advocates of other sites, who all along have been doing their best for their electorates. More power to them; I do not criticise them on that account. I do not see- what point there is in the interjection that Lyndhurst is -in the electorate of the Premier of New South Wales. Of course it is. But that fact would go for nothing if the people of New South Wales were not behind the site. Since the practicability of this site has been challenged by an expert of the character of the right honorable member for Swan, who believes that to construct there artificial works for conserving water will be to menace the health of '.he people in the district, we ought to have the benefit of all the available engineering skill which has been devoted to the investigation of such questions. With respect to the opinions of other engineers, who would probably report adversely, I would remark that that could not be so in the case of Mr. Pridham, because he furnished the figures which, after checking, have been adopted by Mr. Wade in the preparation of the case submitted last night by the honorable member for Macquarie.

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