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Friday, 12 August 1904


Sir LANGDON BONYTHON (Barker) - There is no reason why I should detain the House at any length by my contribution to this debate; but I feel that it is desirable that I should avail myself of the opportunity which now presents itself for explaining my position. That position, I might say, I stated to a very prominent member of the Opposition more than a week ago. I told him that I could riot vote against the proposed recommittal of clause 48. I was paired, as honorable members know, in favour of the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella.


Mr Fisher - -How did the honorable member get to know that the Opposition were going to do this?


Mr Watson - Yes. That is a very interesting question.


Sir LANGDON BONYTHON - At any rate, I did know it. I am now prepared to re-affirm the vote which I gave when clause 48 was under consideration in Committee. I cannot, however, vote with the honorable and learned member against the recommittal of the Bill for the reconsideration of the clause, because I feel that to do so would be unfair. I - admit that the action which has been taken by the Opposition is good party tactics; but I think that the Government are entitled to more consideration, and, personally, I shall do what I can to extend that consideration to them. There was nothing dishonorable in the way in which they obtained possession of the Treasury benches. Indeed, their action in the matter was distinctly honorable, and since they have occupied those benches they have, I think, done credit, not only to the party of which all except the Attorney-General are members, but to the Commonwealth as well. Although I am prepared to vote against the Government on this clause in Committee, I cannot give a vote against the recommittal of the Bill for the reconsideration of the clause, because I feel that to do so would be to act contrary to my instincts of fair play.







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