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Tuesday, 2 August 1904


Mr WILKS (Dalley) - I am one ' of those unfortunates who do not happen to have a Capital Site in my own back yard ; therefore, there is no need for me to indulge in rhapsodies with regard to any particular locality. We have had a certain amount of word painting as to the merits of the various sites that are favoured. I do not pretend to have much of the aesthetic faculty in my composition, and am, therefore, rather disposed to confine myself to discussing the question on the lines which have been followed by the honorable member for Gippsland, who presented to us what he termed a practical sketch of the requirements. But, before expressing my views at length, I should like to say that I deeply regret - not only for the sake of New South Wales, but for the sake of all Australia - that the 100-miles limit has been placed in the Constitution. The members of the Premiers' Conference inserted that provision in consequence of a sharp piece of diplomacy, which was practised by the right honorable member for Balaclava on behalf of the State of Victoria. He saw the opportunity of driving a sharp bargain, but the right honorable member for East Sydney, with his usual kindliness of disposition, gave himself away when he allowed such a stipulation to be made. At that time, it will be remembered, it was questionable whether Federation would be accomplished. New South Wales had repulsed the overtures of the other States, and it was thought that if the Capital were conceded to New South Wales she would be induced to enter the Federation. The Constitution was altered, and, as a result, it was accepted by all the States. We should have no beating about the bush with regard to the 100-miles limit. However the electors in other parts of Australia regarded it, it is certain that the electors of New South Wales considered that the Capital was to be as close as possible to the largest centre of that State. The honorable member for Gippsland tells us that he would rather vote for placing the Capital at Sydney than at Lyndhurst.


Mr McLean - I would a hundred times rather vote for Sydney than Lyndhurst.


Mr WILKS - I am glad that the honorable member makes that admission.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Would the honorable member sooner vote for Sydney than Bombala ?


Mr McLean - Bombala would be more central than Sydney, but Sydney would be a better site than Lyndhurst.


Mr WILKS - The people of New South Wales supposed 'that the Capital would be established as near as possible to Sydney, consistently with the 100-miles limit. Every one must regret' that such a site as Moss Vale, Exeter, and the surrounding district, is debarred, because it possesses all the qualities of accessibility, centrality, and all the special physical features which it is claimed are of primary importance. But we cannot now obtain that, although it is only a few miles short of the 100-mile limit, and, therefore, we have to go further afield. The first consideration with the honorable member for Gippsland was centrality. That is a wellsounding word, and makes a good head-line. I wish to know whether he means centrality in regard to population, or centrality in regard to geographical area. If he means the former, I think I can show him that he is departing very much from the centre and extending himself to the circumference.


Mr McLean - I mean centrality in regard to the different States.


Mr WILKS - According to the first census which was ever taken in Australia, in 1 86 1, the centre of population was in the neighbourhood of Albury ; but census returns for i go i show that it had shifted to the neighbourhood of Lyndhurst ; that is 125 miles north of Albury ; and the. tendency is still to the northward. The honorable member for Grampians, a representative of Victoria, has admitted that in a rough way the trend of population is to the east and north-east shores of Australia. That is unquestionably so, so far as Queensland and New South Wales are concerned.


Sir John Forrest - Does the honorable member think that it will always be in that direction ?


Mr WILKS - If the right honorable member will permit me, I will put my case in my own way. My power as a seer is no stronger than in his. I am dealing with matters of fact - 'with statistics. We know that as regards the occupation of land Victorian electors - even electors from Gippsland - have within very recent weeks, taken themselves away, not to the north-east portions of Victoria, but to the north-east portions of New South Wales. With that commercial acumen, which all Victorians possess, these men seek " fresh woods and pastures hew," not on the south coast of New South Wales, but on the north coast of New ' South Wales and in Queensland. It is the constant rainfall which visits the north-east coast of New South Wales, and the southern districts of Queensland, which attracts population to the luxurious districts to be seen there. Any one who is acquainted with those districts - and no one knows them better than does the Prime Minister - must admit that, in (point of fertility, no soil excels that which he has seen on the north-east coast of New South Wales, and the southern coast of Queensland.


Mr Watson - Hear, hear. .


Mr WILKS - The . honorable gentleman knows, by practical experience, that it is so. Naturally, the bone and sinew of the country - the farming class - will drift in that direction. I am now appealing, not to a representative of New South Wales, on behalf of a particular site, but to a representative of Victoria, whom I ask, on lines of centrality, to give his first choice, not to Bombala or Dalgety, but, unquestionably, to Lyndhurst, which is today the centre of population. In reply to the right honorable member for Swan who has practically asked " what concern is that to Western Australia," I may mention that Lyndhurst and Kalgoorlie are in about the same latitude. I wish to take another view of the question of centrality. I take it that the regard of the -honorable member for Gippsland, and those who use that wellsounding word, plus what they term accessibility, is for the population of to-day. If accessibility is to be applied as a test in the choice of a site, let us consider the accessibility of Lyndhurst, not from the standpoint of a Sydney or Melbourne man, but from the stand-point of an Australian. At the present time Lyndhurst can be approached by railway more cheaply and expeditiously than can any other site. Again, let us consider the possibilities of bringing Lyndhurst into closer touch with Queensland. For several years prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth, the Government of New South Wales had seriously considered the question of connecting the Great Northern Railway at Werris Creek with the Great Western Railway at Wellington or Dubbo. The cross-country line would be a connecting link for the Queenslander, who would not be compelled to take the long journey which he otherwise would have to take to Tooma, or Dalgety, or Bombala. The accessibility of Lyndhurst to Victoria by means of existing railway communication has been established here time after time. Let us now consider the accessibility of Lyndhurst to South Australia. The construction of a railway from Cobar to Broken Hill has been seriously considered by the Government of New South Wales. The construction of that line is not beyond the realms of possibility. A survey of the line has been made. I cannot say that the money has been voted yet, but there has been a strong agitation in favour of its construction.


Sir Langdon Bonython - Does the honorable member think that South Australia wishes that railway to be constructed ?


Mr WILKS - New South Wales, with its rich deposits at Broken Hill, has not been a bad friend to South Australia. Broken Hill has supplied a good deal of trade to South Australia, and if the honorable member means to imply that the South Australians are afraid that they would lose that trade by the construction of a line to Cobar, to connect with the existing railway system at that point, let me tell him frankly and openly that their Federal spirit is a sham. That is a harsh word to use ; but if, when 1 am fighting for a Capital Site for Australia, and trying to show the accessibility of Lyndhurst to South Australia by that route, I am met with the question, " Do I think that South Australians wish that railway to be constructed?"


Sir Langdon Bonython - With fair railway rates New South Wales could never divert the Broken Hill trade from Adelaide.


Mr WILKS - If that is the only fear which the honorable member has, let me remind him that this Parliament have the power to create an Inter-State Commission, which could destroy any advantage which New South Wales may get from cutting railway rates. Apparently, he fears that South Australians are not concerned in fixing a site which could be made accessible to them and to others - generally accessible to Australia. If the representatives of every State are proceeding on the basis that their people are trying to make as much out of the Federation as they can, and to obtain their pound of flesh every time, let them not pretend to feelings of horror when they are told New South Wales wishes the Capital Site to be fixed. Let them not decryNew South Wales for requesting that the Capital Site shall be located near the port of Sydney. If one State is to fight because she thinks she will lose a commercial, and another State fights because she thinks that Sydney will gain another advantage, that says 'very little for their Federal spirit. I trust, however, that Ave have not yet come to that sta.ee. We, as politicians, may engage in such battles. We may think it right to fight for one State as against another, but I do not think that the electors of Australia, once they were satisfied that the best available site had been * chosen, would bother very much whether one State or another gained in commerce. The average elector, whether he be in

Richmond, in Victoria, or in Balmain, in New South Wales, or in a suburb of South Australia or Western Australia, knows that wherever it may be fixed, it will be. of very little concern to him individually. Our concern should be to choose a site in the interests not so much of the people of this day as.' of future generations. The trend of population, in the course of forty, or fifty years will not be south of Lyndhurst, but north of that point. If centrality of population is to be the primary consideration in fixing a site, I say to those honorable members who wish the Capital to be taken south, that the centre of population to-day is Lyndhurst, and that the centre in a few years will be nearer to Queensland. I hold the view that the great rival of New South Wales in years to come will be Queensland. If I were starting life again it would be to Queensland that I should go, and I think that the young people of Australia would be acting wisely if they were to establish their homes in that great State. For these reasons I think that Lyndhurst is about as far south as any representative of Queensland can go, or any representative of New South Wales can be expected to go. Let us now consider the physical features - water supply, productiveness of soil, and mineral resources - on which the honorable member for Gippsland laid great stress. It has been demonstrated here by the report of an expert that Lyndhurst, although not so favorably situated as Dalgety in that regard, has, for all practical purposes today, a storage capacity sufficient to supply with water the population that will exist in the Federal Capital in a couple of hundred years from this time. That statement has not been contradicted. It has been made, not by a representative of the State, but by no less an authority than the Engineer-in-Chief for Water Conservation in New South Wales, who, by reason of his technical knowledge, was asked to report on the water resources of various sites. His report is of such a character that no one can say that Lyndhurst is devoid of a water supply which would meet the requirements of the population of. not only to-day, but of 200 or 300 years from this time. The productiveness of the soil at Lyndhurst has been discussed by its representative here. I do not wish to throw on the table a sample of the greatest pumpkin or the largest potato which has ever been grown, and say to honorable members - " Look at what Lyndhurst will grow.

You will get potatoes and pumpkins of such a size that your domestic accounts will be smaller and smaller; in fact, the greengrocer will be paying you instead of your paying him, if you go and live there." I do not intend to present an argument of this character, that it would pay a greengrocer to give honorable members so much a week instead of taking their orders, the vegetables grown in the district being so heavy that, it would cost too much to convey them from house to house. We do not need to produce for your edification, Mr. Chairman, the well known potato or pumpkin which has travelled all round the shows of Australia, appearing in one place to represent the products of Gippsland, in another to show the fertility of the country surrounding Ballarat, and* in another as an example of what can be grown near Adelaide. Still, the honorable member for Macquarie has not left us without knowledge as to the productiveness of the soil in and around Lyndhurst. What he said may be supported by a reference to the condition of the people in that district. Some of the most prosperous landholders in Australia reside in the Lyndhurst district. Theirs is not an intermittent prosperity, nor is it prosperity occasioned by a gold mining rush. It is solid prosperity .which has endured for many years. Bathurst is one of the most important country towns of New South Wales. Not only is the whole district settled by a wealthy pastoral and farming class, but it has also great mineral resources. I would point out here that in the present utilitarian state of feeling, we are hot likely to extravagantly expend millions of pounds in housing the future Federal politicians and -Federal officers. Personally I am not so accustomed to dwelling in marble halls that I would feel it necessary to construct for the Federal Parliament a building which would be a replica of this. The country cannot afford such expenditure. What we desire is the happy mean between Spartan simplicity and Oriental extravagance. But even if we erected gorgeous palaces for public officers, 'the Seat of Government would not attract a large population. The building operations there would, of course, bring many mechanics and artisans to the place, who would enjoy an ephemeral prosperity; but to attract a large permanent population the Federal Capital must be situated in a district which will afford opportunities for the obtaining of a livelihood. Lynd- hurst is such a district. " Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest."


Mr McLean - The Commissioners say that the good land in the district is fifty miles from the proposed site.


Mr WILKS - They mean the best of the land. It is all good land there, though some may be better, and some best. Nr doubt the honorable member has heard of the man who was not addicted to the habits of temperance, and who, when he heard a reference to bad beer, said, " There is no such thing as bad beer. There is good beer, and better beer, but no bad beer." I do not take that attitude in reference to beer, but I would apply the remark to the land in the Lyndhurst district. It is all good land. An agriculturist has only to supply energy in order to get a return from it. Its pastoral capabilities, too, are shown by the number of wealthy families in the district who follow pastoral pursuits. But, of course, not every man in Melbourne or Sydney can afford to buy a station or to purchase a farm, though there are many persons who would be glad to move to the Seat of Government if they could find work to do there. The Lyndhurst district is one which would give employment to a great number of people, because, in addition to its pastoral and agricultural resources, it has great mineral resources. Within an easy distance of the proposed site are large coal-fields, and rich copper mines. The whole district may be described as a network of the jewels of the earth. I do not wish to rhapsodize, however. As I said in my opening remarks, I envy the Ruskin-like powers of description possessed by some of those who spoke last week. It would, indeed, require the descriptive faculty of a Ruskin or a Sir Walter Scott to do justice to this site.- But if the honorable member for Gippsland had visited the district he would have seen that, notwithstanding the advantages possessed by the southern sites, Lyndhurst is still more favorably situated. The districts in the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, and in the southern parts of Queensland, are daily attracting large numbers of people. I can understand the attachment of the honorable member for Gippsland to the electorate which he represents ; but people are leaving that district to go, not to Bombala, but to the places further north which I have mentioned. Mr. McLean. - That is because there is land for sale there. I admit that the land on the Richmond River is good land ; but it is not always a good sign when you find the people of a district anxious to sell.


Mr WILKS - The honorable member is a canny Scot, possessing all the virtues and all the shrewdness pf his race; but he finds my argument difficult to answer. It is well known that within the last six months certain of his own people formed a syndicate and purchased the Kyogle estate, in northern New South Wales, for about .£150,000. This estate has since been cut up into farms, which are now being sold at very high prices.


Mr McLean - Does the honorable member call the prices high?


Mr WILKS - Yes, for farm land.


Mr McLean - I am told that it is excellent land, but that it is being bought for prices which are being given for the worst land in Gippsland.


Mr WILKS - Proximity to a market has a good deal to do with the price of land. But I do not wish to be led off on a side track. The point I am making is that the people of Gippsland, who know what .good land is, and farmers from other parts of Australia, are going, not to the Bombala district, but further north, to take up farms and to make homes for themselves. Lyndhurst is practically the centre of the present population of Australia, and as population increases its centre will shift, not further south, but further north. The honorable member for Gippsland spoke against the selection of the Lyndhurst site also for the reason that if that site were chosen the result would be the aggrandizement of the port of Sydney. But that argument is at once met by tie statement that if Tooma were chosen the result would be the aggrandizement of the port of Melbourne. In dealing with a matter of this kind, one must be very careful not to throw stones, because, while it may be easy to break the windows of other sites, there is always a great risk of getting the window of one's own site broken as well.


Mr McLean - The site I advocated is situated midway between Sydney and Melbourne.


Mr WILKS - If the site the honorable member advocated were chosen, we should have to travel either by balloon or airship, because there are mountain ranges to be negotiated, and to construct a railway there would involve an expenditure of about ,£4,000,000. In considering this question, it should be recollected that the' average individual prefers to travel by coach, rail, or steamer, rather than by balloon or air-ship. The honorable member for Gippsland, I repeat, has argued that if Lyndhurst be selected, all the trade of the Capital will go to Sydney. What would honorable members think if I turned round and declared, " Oh, the Tooma site is a grand one. Potatoes will grow there better than in any other part of the world. So also will cabbages and pumpkins - in fact, everything is greener there than it is elsewhere, but if we select that site all the trade will go to Port Phillip " ? If we all entertain views of that sort, and are struggling for commercial gain, the city of Sydney should be protected equally with that of Melbourne. Let us understand whether we are fighting for commercial gain or for the establishment of a Federal city, for the benefit of the population not only of to-day, but of the future. To institute comparisons between sites from the point of view of centrality, accessibility, &c, is of no use,. if our arguments when boiled down mean that we object to a. site because its selection will mean that its trade will go to Melbourne or Sydney. If that is the. view which is entertained, I can quite understand the anxiety of the Victorian press, and of many honorable members, to secure delay in the settlement of this question. I venture to say, however, that, if the feeling of the people of Australia could be tested, it would be found that they have sufficient breadth of mind - irrespective of the State from which they come - to enable them to respect their brothers and sisters in other portions of the Union, and to induce them to say that they desire in the interests of all to see the most suitable site selected. The honorable member for Gippsland has urged that if we choose the Lyndhurst gite, gain will result to Sydney. Do I understand that he has decided to support the claims of Bombala? I know that, to a large extent, he represents Victorian opinion in this House, and Victorian sentiment outside of it. Consequently, I wish to know whether he has decided to stand by the Bombala site?


Mr McLean - I intend to support one of the Monaro sites.


Mr WILKS - The honorable member is a generous sort of mortal, who practically says, "Here are two apples. I will take this one, and you may exercise your own choice as to which of the remainder you will have." He has decided to support the Bombala site. In the first place,

I suppose, that site, by a sheer accident, is situated just on the border-line . of Victoria. In the second place, the honorable member must be aware from the reports of experts, that New South Wales would require to spend millions of pounds to connect it by rail with existing lines.


Mr McLean - Does the honorable membet know that the railway already runs into the Monaro district?


Mr WILKS - I ought to know exactly how far the railway runs into that country, seeing that upon one occasion I was laid up in the Cooma hospital for ten days. The fact is that I strained my eyesight so seriously in an endeavour to discover the beauties of the Bombala site that I was compelled to enter the hospital at Cooma, which is the present terminus of the railway.


Mr Bamford - It is a beautiful little place.


Mr WILKS - Yes; next to Lyndhurst, it is one of the prettiest little towns I know. The honorable member for Gippsland has argued in favour -of the selection of Bombala, on the ground that it possesses a seaport. But I would point out that Twofold Bay is fifty miles distant, and that between it and the Bombala site there are mountains to climb, as precipitous as are those to be found in Gippsland. During the course of this debate we have heard a good deal in reference to climate. Honorable members appear to be very desirous to secure a cool climate. I do not know whether thev expect to experience a very warm climate in the future, but, possibly, that may be the true explanation. Though during the parliamentary visit of inspection there. I was unable to attend the festivities at Bombala. I had an opportunity of asking one of its residents what the townspeople did during the summer months.. His reply was that everybody who could afford it went to the seaside. Upon being questioned as to why they did this, he informed me that during the summer the climate of Bombala was too warm to permit of their remaining there.


Mr Bamford - The honorable member for Eden-Monaro did not say so.


Mr WILKS - No; he could not be expected to say so. As the honorable member for Grampians has pointed out, if we desire to obtain a port in connexion with the Federal Capital, we shall have to pay for it, and we shall also require to spend money in fortifying and otherwise defending it. I wish, further, to impress upon honorable members that Twofold Bay is such a well-sheltered harbor that during all the gales experienced , upon the coast of New South Wales, no vessel ever seeks shelter there.


Mr Austin Chapman - That is absolutely incorrect. During almost every heavy gale two or three boats seek shelter there.


Mr WILKS - Two or three fishing boats. An ordinary sized steamer cannot enter it. One of. the Union Steamship Company's boats was unable to turn there because the channel was not deep enough.


Mr Austin Chapman - Why, it is deeper than is Sydney harbor.


Mr WILKS -The steamer of which I am speaking had to go astern until she had got safely out of the harbor. To make that port a harbor of shelter over a million pounds sterling would require to be spent in the construction of a breakwater, and we all know that when once a Government commences to build breakwaters there is practically no end to the bills which have to be met. Moreover, apart from railway construction, millions of pounds would require to be expended to make it even an ordinary port of shelter. I have nothing to urge against the selection of the Monaro site, save that it would involve an extravagant outlay. The Melbourne press is continually crying out about extravagant Federal expenditure, and, in order to bolster up a case in opposition to the choice of what it calls a " bush " capital, it has dragged in millions of pounds for the construction of such works as the transcontinental railway. I freely present the journals of this city with further reasons for the rejection of the Bombala site. Its selection, I claim, would involve an excessive expenditure in dredging the harbor, so as to make it afford a safe anchorage, also a large outlay in constructing breakwaters, and in fortifying it. I wish now to give one other illustration of the weakness of Twofold Bay. It is scarcely necessary to point out that the vessels of the Australian Auxiliary Squadron never use it, either for manoeuvring purposes or for shell practice. They use Jervis Bay, which, from the point of view of safety and dimensions, offers even better facilities than does Port Jackson. If representatives from other parts of Australia merely desire to secure a beautiful harbor of large dimensions, and one capable of sheltering any class of vessel in the world, I would recommend them to visit Jervis Bay. The Lake George site, the claims of which have not been considered on the present occasion, is situated within forty miles of that port, and the intervening country presents no engineering difficulties in the way of railway construction. If their only desire is to secure a territory possessing a suitable port, so that, in the event of a conflict between the Federal authority and the State, it will be possible to reach the Capital without passing through State territory, then let me recommend them to Jervis Bay. Desperate, as we are, however - and ready as we are to fly off the handle - I do not think the time will ever come when, because of conflict between the Federal authority and the State, it will be dangerous for residents of the Federal territory to travel over that State. We are fairly bad, it is true, but we are not a lot of Bashi-bazouks, and there is no cause to fear anything in that direction. If any honorable member fears that at some time or other there may be a struggle to the death between the representatives of the Commonwealth and of the State of New South Wales, and therefore desires that the Federal territory, shall have independent means of access, I respectfully recommend him to support the selection of a site near Jervis Bay.


Mr Skene - Is Jervis Bay beyond the 100-miles limit?


Mr WILKS - I think it is.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No.


Mr WILKS - I believe that it is more than 100 miles from Sydney.


Mr Bamford - Will the honorable member propose its selection?


Mr WILKS - No; for the reason that I do not wish any further delay to take place. The people of New South Wales have been fooled quite long enough, and the sooner we make a selection the better. It is often said that it was a " bargain " that the Federal Capital should be in New South Wales. I decline to use that word in this connexion. It was not a mere bargain, but the recognition of an absolute right.


Mr Skene - To a certain extent that is so.


Mr WILKS - I am glad to have that admission from a representative of Victoria. Do not let us say that it was a concession to New South Wales. A tig for any concession. The people of New South Wales are not going on their bended knees to ask for any favour; they ask for the recognition of a constitutional right.


Mr Poynton - Neither are the other States going on their bended knees to New South Wales.


Mr WILKS - There is no necessity for any ill-feeling. In dealing with this matter I do not intend to have regard to any question of State against State, or to study the convenience of Brown of to-day as against the inconvenience of Jones of to-morrow. Some reference has been made to the posi-' lion taken up by the press. If the press of Australia find it to the interests of Australia to report the proceedings of the Federal Parliament, then, wherever the Seat of Government may be, they will do so. It matters not whether a report, or -a leading article dealing with the proceedings of the Parliament, be written in an office, in the back blocks, or in the sanctum of Syme, in Collins-street, Melbourne ; it is bound to be circulated wherever it is written and published. I do not think that the question of expense will be considered by the press in relation to the publication of the debates of this Parliament. They will give such publicity to our proceedings as may be considered desirable. In urging that Lyndhurst should be selected, I am actu"ated by a desire to conserve the interests of the whole Commonwealth. Lyndhurst is today the centre of population in Australia, and the point cannot be taken further south. It is easy of access, and- on that ground I claim the votes of the representatives of Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. I put aside all considerations as to the commercial advantage which might accrue to Sydney, Melbourne, or any other city, from the selection of a particular site; but would point out that if Lyndhurst were selected, no expense would be incurred in providing a means of communication by railway. The existing railways supply ail wants in that respect. With the construction of a railway from Cobar to Broken Hill, South Australia will be directly tapped, while Lyndhurst will be placed in touch with Queensland by the construction of a railway from Werris Creek. I am not so moulded that ' I can soar into rhapsodies about the picturesqueness of the country, but I would remind honorable members that some of the most romantic sights in Australia are within easy distance of Lyndhurst. The Blue Mountains, which are close at hand, are unexcelled in point of interest l and beauty by any other part of Australia. Visitors from all parts of Australia, as well as from the old world, make their pilgrimages to the many beauty spots with which they abound, so that if we are seeking for picturesque country we shall find it at our very doors.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Lyndhurst is also close to the Jenolan Caves.


Mr WILKS - That is so, and to many other points of interest, to which men of business in the capital may resort in their leisure moments. After all, the Federal Capital is not likely to be a sort of Elysium where the people will wander about the streets, from early morn to dewy eve, 'with garlands of flowers around their hats, spending their days in picnicing. It will take them all their time to bustle round and earn a living. I do not anticipate- that the effects of the scenery will . be such as to cause a new class of people to arise. The troubles which prevail here will prevail there, but if we select Lyndhurst, those who have the means and ' the leisure will be able to satisfy their love of the beautiful by visiting the show places of the Blue Mountains. So much for the question of picturesqueness. I wish to emphasize the point that Lyndhurst can sustain a large population. The development of its pastoral, agricultural, and mineral resources, will provide employment for a very large industrial class. I therefore appeal to those who fly the banner of the industrial classes to a greater extent than does any other party in the House, to vote for this site. Can any honorable imember point to any other site at which the industrial classes would find a more ready means of employment than will be forthcoming in and around Lyndhurst? The raw material exists there in abundance, and those who believe that a certain policy is necessary for the development of our resources, should avail themselves of this opportunity to experiment under favorable conditions. Some reference has been made to the climatic conditions of the several sites. There are some who are anxious that as cool a spot as possible should be selected, in order to make up that which they will probablylack in the future and to these I would point out that the mean temperature of Lyndhurst is better than is that of any other site.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There is no rhapsody about that.


Mr WILKS - It is no figure of speech. My statement is supported by the figures of the Government meteorologist.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member can double spades on that.


Mr WILKS - The honorable member uses a simile which I shall not attempt to bridge. The Government meteorologist shows that the heat is not so great, and the cold certainly not so intense at Lyndhurst as it is at Bombala and Dalgety - that the climate is not so warm as is the climate of the other sites. The mean temperature is certainly better. If those who oppose the selection of this site do so chiefly on the ground that Sydney would be benefited by it, I can only say that it is time that the capital of New South Wales received some advantage from the Federation. If poor old Sydney is, however, to depend upon the Federal Capital for her existence, she had better put up her shutters. But we all know that she can live without the Federal Capital. A city of the stability of good old Sydney has no occasion to rest upon the establishment of the Seat of Government close at hand. New South Wales is not in the national Insolvency Court, although I must admit that Federation has dragged her pretty close to it. The Federal spirit so overwhelmed the people of that State that they almost lost their mental balance, and supported extravagant expenditure to such an extent that the State has now to cut down her public outlay.


Sir John Forrest - The people of every State are saying the same thing.


Mr WILKS - I shall not allow the right honorable member for Swan or any other honorable member to suggest that Sydney is anxious to live on the charity of Western Australia, or of any other State. New South Wales does not intend, any more than does Victoria or Queensland, to live on the mere sufferance, so to speak, of the representative of any State.


Mr McDonald - Queensland is not asking for any concession from the Commonwealth.


Mr WILKS - She has done very well. She has obtained that for which she chiefly entered the Union - the abolition of coloured labour, and New South Wales played a serious part, if we measure everything by pounds, shillings, and pence, in assisting Queensland to that end.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - She helped to give Queensland a heavy duty on sugar.


Mr Tudor - The representatives of New South Wales did not assist in passing that duty.


Mr WILKS - No honorable member was more earnest in advocating the abolition of black labour than were the representatives of New South Wales.


Mr Tudor - But the representatives of New South Wales did not vote for the sugar duty.


Mr WILKS - We wished to get rid of one evil without creating another. To those who say that Lyndhurst is favoured by some honorable members because its selection would be advantageous to Sydney, I- would reply that Sydney seeks no benefit in that direction. She merely demands a recognition of her right. I believe that if a referendum of the people of Australia were taken on the matter, Sydney itself would be chosen as the Capital Site. When it is suggested that some honorable members support Lyndhurst because of some possible trade gain to Sydney, I can only say that, if there were a trade gain to Sydney, that city would be absolutely entitled to .it. For years before Federation New South Wales had her doors open to the people of the other States. She did not keep out their products, but invited them to send their products into New South Wales. The only response we get now is to be told, that those who 'advocate the selection of Lyndhurst as the Capital Site do so because some paltry portion of trade might gravitate to Sydney. We know that last session some honorable members tried to drag the Federal territory right down to the borders of Victoria. The site chosen by this House was Tumut j but some honorable members were not satisfied with that, and they insisted upon defining an elongated Feder.al area, which might be compared to the patch upon the nether garments of a . schoolboy. It ran from Dan to Beersheba - from one end of the country to the other: They insisted that the Federal territory should extend to the Murray, and there " were some honorable members who, if they could have done so, would have brought it in a straight line to the very confines of Melbourne. In spite of this, we are now told that those who propose to vote for Lyndhurst do so in order to secure a trade advantage to Sydney. I say a fig for all these professions of Federal sentiments. If honorable members mean business, and are Federal, they should not merely profess a spirit of Federalism, but should act in a Federal manner. I am pre pared to- act in the interests of the people of all the States. Specious arguments were offered last session, when Tumut was chosen as the Capital Site, for extending the Federal territory to the Murray River. It was «id that it was necessary to secure a doorway to the Federal Capital for the people of- Victoria. I ask whether there should not be a doorway also for the people of Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia? Why should there be a doorway for the people of one State only ? These things cannot well be forgotten ; but T trust that since last session our disposition has undergone a change, and that there will now be no more of the struggle to have the Federal Capital placed in the backyard, so ' to speak, of Victoria. I hope that honorable members will be concerned to select a site that will be suitable for the whole of Australia, and, in that view, I respectfully suggest that Lyndhurst should be the site selected. Last session' I voted for Tumut, on its record, and without seeing it. But having seen Tumut since, I must admit that this session my second choice will be Dalgety. I do not now propose to say why and wherefore. At the first ballot last session I -voted for Lyndhurst, and on that occasion there were twenty-five straight-out votes given for the selection of that site. No other site has had equal voting' in its favour. The supporters of other sites were, by combination, successful in destroying its chance of selection ; but no other site on a straight-out vote secured as much support as did Lyndhurst Believing that Lyndhurst is practically in the centre of the population of Australia, I am not prepared to go to the Victorian border for a site. I am not prepared in any case to go nearer to the Victorian border than Dalgety, which, I think, is distant forty miles from Bombala. I ask honorable members to' be guided in their selection by considerations of centrality, accessibility, and the physical features which have been referred to by the honorable member for Gippsland. That honorable member can now have no fear about an adequate water supply at Lyndhurst, and I cannot, therefore, see how he can fail to vote for the selection of that site. One argument used by the. honorable member I could not understand, and . that was his objection to Lyndhurst, - on the ground that certain trade would go to the port of Sydney. I ask . honorable members to consider what the trade involved would be worth. Is it likely to be of- such value that Melbourne cannot live without it, or that Sydney without it must perish in the national Bankruptcy Court? If the only argument of the honorable member for

Gippsland against the selection of Lyndhurst is the advantage that would be given to the port of Sydney, I can recommend to him the port of Jervis Bay, which is one of the best ports in Australia, and which is within forty miles of an excellent site. For the reasons I have given, I trust that Lyndhurst will be the site chosen ; but I still think that, in the interests of Australia, it would have been better if the limitation or* 100 miles from Sydney had never found a place in the Constitution, because, not in Sydney itself, but at Moss Vale, Exeter, and round that district a site might have been selected which would be unexcelled in Australia.







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