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Tuesday, 9 August 1904

Mr McCAY (Corinella) - I agree with the honorable member for North Sydney as to the vagueness of the clause. I desire to know something with respect to the method by which the Minister proposes to ascertain the desire of the Committee. I should like to say that Governments and Parliaments have, before now, found that it is easier to create a blank than to fill it. If we create a blank in this clause as proposed, there will be nothing to prevent that blank remaining unfilled for' ever, so far as this Committee is concerned, by a combination of supporters of two' sites as against the supporters of a third. I am not saying this with any desire to secure an advantage for the site mentioned iri the Bill, or the site which was selected a few minutes ago by honorable members, because neither of them is my first choice. We have had previous examples of combinations. To move that these words should be left out, with a view to insert other words, a .perfectly right course to pursue, in the circumstances, if we knew that, as a matter of course, the striking out of these words would be followed by the formal insertion of the other words proposed. But once these words are left out, the whole question is again enlarged. I should advise the insertion of certain words first, if they could be agreed to, and we could strike out the superfluous words afterwards. My only desire is to secure 'fair play for all concerned, because, as I say, Bombala and Dalgety are by no means the objects of my primary selection in this matter.

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