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Friday, 12 August 1904


Mr THOMAS (Barrier) - I should also like to say a word -or two, by way of personal explanation. If I have done the honorable member for Parramatta an injustice, I shall be glad of an opportunity to withdraw the statement I made. What I said was that I believed that if the honorable member for Parramatta had not been appointed Postmaster-General by the .right honorable member for East Sydney, when the latter was Premier of New South Wales, in 1894, the honorable member would have been with the Labour Party to-day.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not what the honorable member said.


Mr THOMAS - What I said was that, in my opinion, if the honorable member for Parramatta had not been offered the office of Postmaster-General in New South Wales, he would have been with the Labour Party to-day.


Mr Kelly - Is such value placed on a Ministerial position ?


Mr THOMAS - It seems there are some who would do anything to become Prime Minister of Australia, at any rate. I may say that the reason I came to the conclusion I did was-


Mr SPEAKER - I really cannot see what something which happened in eighteen hundred something or other has to do with this debate. If I had heard the interjection of the honorable member for Barrier, which has been referred to, I should certainly have required its withdrawal, on an objection being raised by the honorable member for Parramatta. Unfortunately, I did not hear any objection to the interjection, and the latter was not withdrawn. In any case, the matter to which the honorable member for Barrier is referring is entirely irrelevant to the question before us. The honorable member is entitled to make a personal explanation, which he may complete, if he has not already done so; but I ask him not to occupy the time of the House by retailing the history of old events beyond what is absolutely necessary to a personal explanation.


Mr THOMAS - I do not intend to occupy more than two minutes, and my remarks are practically a personal explanation. I should be very sorry, indeed, to make any personal references to the honorable member for Parramatta that are uncalled for; and I only wish to place before honorable members the reasons why I interjected. In 189 1, the honorable member for Parramatta was member for Lithgow in the New South

Wales Parliament, and was supposed to be a member of the Labour Party. I did not enter the New South Wales Parliament until 1894. A certain number of the members of the Labour Party, including the member for Parramatta, Mr. Alfred Edden, Mr. Gardiner, Mr. J. B. Nicholson, and several others, disagreed in reference to a pledge.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All but two.


Mr THOMAS - Practically all of those members are now back with the Labour Party. The honorable member for Parramatta, who was at that time offered the office of Postmaster-General, is practically the only one who has remained away from that party.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is not so.


Mr Lonsdale - What the honorable member for Barrier says is not true.


Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member for New England knows that the remark he has made is unparliamentary, and I ask him to withdraw it.


Mr Lonsdale - I withdraw the remark, and will say that what the honorable member for Barrier asserts is not correct.


Mr THOMAS - As I say, all those members of the Labour Party have since returned to their allegiance; and some of us have thought, from that time to the present, that there was a strong probability that, if the honorable member for Parramatta had not been made PostmasterGeneral, he. would have been found with the Labour Party to-day. However, if it be true that that appointment made no difference to the honorable member, and that there were other reasons for his withdrawal from the Labour Party, I am prepared to accept his denial ; and I can only regret that for a number of years I have misunderstood him to that extent. As regards the matter under discussion at the present moment, I am rather .surprised at the action of the honorable and learned member for Ballarat.


Mr SPEAKER - I understood the honorable member for Barrier to rise to make a personal explanation. If that be so, he cannot continue from that explanation into a speech on the question before us. Had 1 known the honorable member desired to make a speech, I should have been obliged to see the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, who rose first. Do I understand that the honorable member for Barrier desires now to make a speech?


Mr THOMAS - If I sit down now, have. I lost my right to speak afterwards?


Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member has certainly not lost his right to speak later.

Mr. DEAKIN(Ballarat).- The speech last night of the Attorney-General, one of the members of the Government whom I respect, decided me to offer a few remarks in reply to the observations which he then addressed to this Chamber in a fashion worthy of its traditions. The Minister, who has just resumed his seat, told us truthfully at the close of his remarks that a new era is being introduced to which our past of decent behaviour and decent debate, is to give place. And he has, himself, inaugurated the new era. I regret to find the Federal Parliament, its Ministry, and this debate lowered by a tissue of accusations, half of them malevolent and the other half false.


Mr SPEAKER - I am sure that the honorable and learned member for Ballarat recognises that he has said what is unparliamentary, and must be withdrawn.


Mr DEAKIN - I ask with all respect, sir, that you should further define to me in what 1 have erred. I said that half the charges made against honorable members were malevolent and the other half were false; some of those charges have already been rebutted by honorable members on this side.


Mr SPEAKER - I must ask the honorable and learned member for Ballarat to withdraw the statement. I am sure the parliamentary experience of the honorable and -learned member teaches him that to say a speech is malevolent, and, -more, to say that a speech, or part of it, is false, is a gross breach of the orders of Parliament ; and I think he will see his way to with-" draw.


Mr DEAKIN - Certainly, sir, if you so direct, though I thought that what I said was in order. To the speech of the Minister for External Affairs I do not propose to make any more than an indirect reply. It happens sometimes to all of us, that as we pass along the streets of the city, we meet men engaged filling drays with dirt and garbage, and unless one is discreet some of that dust and refuse may drift upon him.


Mr McDonald - They might ask the honorable and learned .member to get in.


Mr DEAKIN - I have not yet taken my seat beside the honorable member.


Mr Poynton - The honorable and learned member tried to do so.


Mr DEAKIN - When it does happen that the dust reaches us, we brush it off and pass on; that is the proper treatment for a speech of the character to which we have just listened. The statement was made last night by the honorable the AttorneyGeneral, that the question before us, relating to preferences, had not been discussed. In that his memory erred. The question of the granting of preferences to the members of organizations was discussed several times, and at great length.


Mr Watson - This aspect was not.


Mr DEAKIN - Various aspects were often discussed together, because there was one body of members who maintained that no preferences should be granted, and there was another body of members who maintained that they should be granted, with conditions. Those aspects were discussed by a number of honorable members in connexion with certain clauses before clause 48 was reached.


Mr Watson - There was not a word said about a majority being insisted upon.


Mr DEAKIN - When the honorable and learned member for Corinella moved his amendment, he not only read it to the Committee, but defended it. It was discussed, and was borne in the minds of honorable members from . that time forward to the close of that debate.


Mr Watson - He spoke for about two minutes only.


Mr DEAKIN - He spoke for nearly three-quarters of an hour when he submitted his amendment. He explained it elaborately. I have looked it up during the last hour, and have read his speech. When the honorable and learned member actually moved his amendment, he rose immediately after the division which we took upon the question of preferences. He then moved it in a speech occupying about fifteen lines of Hansard. That is perfectly true. But, as he said, his amendment had not been altered, except verbally. The absolute feature of it - the majority requirement - remained, as he had merely changed a few words affecting its application. In passing, I may say that I am not sure that by his alteration he improved it. But there was no real alteration in the proposal which he made, which was that a majority guarantee should be required before preference was granted. That question had been genera-, ally discussed. To make the course of events quite clear, I may point out again that there were two sections of opinion in the Committee - those opposed to all preferences, and those who favoured preference with a condition. We went to two divisions. If there be strangers in the gallery who have heard this debate to-night, and who listened to the speech of the Minister of External Affairs, there is not one of them who can suppose that when we went to a division on the question of granting preference to members of organizations, I voted for the granting of that preference. On the contrary, the House has been told, directly and by insinuation - I should say a dozen times - that, in common with other members I opposed the principle of preference which was necessary for the completion of this scheme.


Mr Watson - The honorable and learned member is certainly doing that now.


Mr DEAKIN - That is another wriggle - and an unjustifiable one. We went to the first division. Those who believed in the granting of preferences sat on one side of the chamber, and I sat with them. Those who were opposed to the granting of preferences sat on the other side, and I voted against them. Then came the question of the granting of the preference with a condition. I voted for that condition. I have, never altered mv opinion that the imposition of that condition was wise. We are told that the value of the condition proposed by the honorable and learned member for Corinella, as compared with that proposed by the Government, has not been properly discussed. What have we been occupied three days in doing? It is true that the Minister who has just resumed his seat, and the Minister of Home Affairs, have occupied only a portion of their time with the discussion of the amendment to clause 48. But that question we have had, and still have, ample time to discuss in all its phases. The Government have launched their own proposal, to which they have committed themselves. We have also the proposal for which we previously voted upon which we are asked to reverse our votes. Nothing could be more distinct and plain than the question now before us, and nothing could be more ample than the opportunity that has been offered us to consider it.


Mr Hughes - Nothing could be more unfair.


Mr DEAKIN - We have had debates on this Bill in Committee, on a series of important questions, perhaps half a score of times at least; and I fail to recall an instance in which any honorable member has chosen to speak ,'twice, unless, perhaps, to make a trifling correction. So that the apparent limitation involved in debating the question in the House instead of in Committee is a technical and not a real limitation. It is not a limitation at all according to the usual practice of Parliament. The House has had an opportunity to thresh out this question as searchingly, as fully, as thoroughly, and as satisfactorily, as it could be even if we went into Committee. The AttorneyGeneral urged that the clause proposed by the honorable and learned member for Corinella was open to objection, because it imposed difficulties upon the Court in the way of interpretation. I admit that it does. But I say deliberately, without any hesitation, that it imposes on the Court a smaller burden than would be imposed by the clause which the Government have asked to substitute for it. I see that the Honorable the Minister of External Affairs admits that.


Mr Watson - The amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella imposes a burden on some one else, though.


Mr DEAKIN - It imposes a less burden on the Court, because it indicates the line which, in the opinion of Parliament, the Court should pursue in the granting of preferences.


Mr Hughes - It states it - not indicates it.


Mr DEAKIN - It indicates it plainly. It states it, if the honorable member prefers that term.


Mr Watson - It would take twelve months for an organization to put itself in line with the rest.


Mr DEAKIN - Even if that were true, the fact that it would take twelve months for a particular organization to put itself in line with the rest is no effectual objection in a measure of this kind. We are dealing with a scheme which, as I have discovered in the course of these debates, is not fairly to be judged - as at first I thought it might be - from the experience gained in individual States. As I have said its drafting strained to the utmost our constitutional powers, and there are now continual efforts to overstrain them. The only direction in which, so far as my consciousness tells me, I have altered the attitude I took up when first introducing this measure, has been in consequence of the knowledge gained in listening to these debates and in considering the Bill in detail. It was then I came to perceive immense difficulties - and I indicated them to the Committee several times - in applying common rules and preferences to, it may be, the whole of Australia, or to two or three of its great States, as compared with the difficulties involved in applying those principles in a single State.


Mr Batchelor - It is a pity the honorable and learned member did not discover those difficulties before the elections.


Mr DEAKIN - I discovered everything that, with the knowledge available. it was possible for me to discover. But in connexion with a Bill of this kind, dealing with a subject having the immense complexity which I have often dwelt upon - and. bearing in mind the circumstances, with which the House is perfectly familiar, under which I first took charge of it - I venture to say that it is little wonder that the full gravity and seriousness of all the difficulties of applying State experiences, were not appreciated by me in the beginning. Besides, this is the first, though not the last measure of the kind which the Federal Parliament will deal with. We must proceed circumspectly. The granting of preference to unionists is one of the main features of the Bill. The power to grant it remains. That power, according to the AttorneyGeneral last night, was, under the Bill, unconditional. Since then he himself and a number of his colleagues have admitted that, even in the Bill as we proposed it, that grant would not be unconditional, since, as in New South Wales and New Zealand, conditions would be imposed by the Court itself. Consequently the choice is not, as the Attorney-General submitted last night, between an unconditional grant in the original Bill and a conditional grant now. It is simply the difference between conditions to be imposed by the Court, or similar conditions stated plainly on the face of the Bill. Consequently the difference has simply to be measured between the two conditions before us. My Government never asked for, and this Government never stated that they were asking for, the granting of an unconditional power of preference. This Government elsewhere in this Bill - as the honorable and learned member for Darling Downs last night claimed in connexion with this clause - made concessions. But the honorable and learned member for Darling Downs for the moment overlooked the fact that the Prime Minister had distinctly stated in re- gard to these that he had made no concessions, because he simply consented to allow the practice - the necessary practice - of the Courts to be put in plain language upon the face of the clause, instead of it being left to be added afterwards by the Courts. In connexion with the giving of sufficient notice to allow those who wish to oppose a rule or preference, the Prime Minister defended himself against the charge that he was surrendering anything to Opposition criticism, by pointing out that these requirements were already implicitly contained in the Bill, and that he was merely making them explicit.


Mr Watson - It was a mere unreasonable fear of the Court on the part of honorable members opposite that led to these safeguards being asked for.


Mr DEAKIN - It was simply a desire that Parliament should distinctly and definitely indicate its view, so that it might be incorporated in the Bill. Consequently the question now before' us is surrounded by no obscurity whatever, and by no difficulty. The condition which the honorable and learned member for Corinella advocates is that the principle of majority ruleshall be applied to industrial affairs, when preference is asked for. It does not say that the principle is to be applied by means of a referendum, as some honorable members have intimated, though if it did I do not know that opposition to it should come from honorable members opposite.


Mr Watson - Except for the delay. A strike might be going on.


Mr DEAKIN - It could not go on.


Mr Watson - It would go on. The honorable and learned member knows that no trade unionists will submit to this Bill if, under it, they cannot get justice at the hands of the Court.


Mr DEAKIN - The honorable gentleman's colleagues have already shown that the greatest Federal industrial organizations that we know of practically include a majority of the workers. Consequently in those cases - which are the first and greatest cases - this question cannot arise. They have their majority..


Mr Spence - They could not prove that.


Mr DEAKIN - How is it going to be proved? Not by statistics from the Government Statist's office, but by the opinion of the Court. -Whatever satisfies the judgment of the President of the Court in the matter is to be accepted. Whatever evidence contents him is to be sufficient. There will' be no requirement except such evidence as satisfies the Court. It might be satisfied with the evidence of one person or two, or more. That is all that will be required. " In the opinion of the Court " is quite sufficient. This is not a requirement that there shall be a majority determined by calculation. It is left to the opinion of the Court.


Mr McCay - Those words were put in advisedly.


Mr Watson - No doubt to kill the Bill.


Mr DEAKIN - Nonsense. The Prime Minister says, as imany others have said, that this proposal kills the Bill. We have heard the same statement made with regard to many important measures by those who objected to amendments being made in them. This is the first, the most familiar, and the readiest of the objections which are taken to alterations in Bills. We all know that, as a rule, they are made by men who believe what they say. But it. has been our experience scores of times that when the mists and the heat of conflict have cleared away, and we can look at matters coolly, the amendments thus made are found to have few or none of the consequences prophesied by those who opposed them.


Mr Batchelor - Take the first Conciliation Bill that was introduced in South Australia.


Mr Watson - It has been inoperative ever since it was passed.


Mr DEAKIN - But does the honorable gentleman forget that that was a measure for voluntary conciliation, whereas this is a Bill for compulsory conciliation?


Mr Spence - The same remark applies to the original Bill in New South Wales.


Mr DEAKIN - The issue, being perfectly distinct, is, after all, a very narrow one. ' The Prime Minister and his colleagues have admitted that in a great number of instances the Court, liven if the proviso of the honorable and learned member for Corinella were not inserted in the Bill, would, in practice, apply its principle just the same. Before granting a preference it would desire to be satisfied that a majority asked for it. In all these cases, the one provision is as good as the other.


Mr Watson - Except that under the Government proposal the fact would not have to be mathematically demonstrated.


Mr DEAKIN - Neither must it be mathematically demonstrated under the proviso of the honorable and learned member for Corinella. If we leave out of consideration the cases in which the Court itself would require the proof of numbers, and those in which there is already a clear majority in the unions concerned, we see that the greater number of the cases likely to come before the Court will not be affected by the proviso. There remain an uncertain number in which it is said that the applicants for preference may substantially represent the industry affected, and yet not be an absolute majority. So far as I can predict without much ' intimate knowledge of the subject, those cases are likely to be few.


Mr Webster - They will be many.


Mr DEAKIN - Even if they are many, the honorable member must admit that it will require very little to be done to enable an union or organization, which already substantially represents an industrv, to gain the extra support required to make it representative of the majority concerned.


Mr Webster - What is that?


Mr DEAKIN - All that will be necessary will be to satisfy enough of those who are not member's of the union or organization - they will not necessarily have to join an existing union - that it is to their common interest to obtain a preference, and to get them to join, in order to receive the desired benefit. That is all that will have to be done to create a majority sufficient to satisfy the Court, where no majority now exists.


Mr Hughes - The employers of the non-unionists appealed to will hold over their heads the threat that if they join a union they will be dismissed.


Mr DEAKIN - As the honorable and learned member knows, the employers could only dismiss their men in that way before they joined an organization; and how would the employers know that they were going to join until they were enrolled ? The Bill prohibits interference with them once they are members of an organization. On the other hand, under the proposed amendment of the Government, how would a union prove that it substantially represented an industry? The question would still be left to the determination of the Court, and if the Court were not satisfied, the same steps must be followed to secure proof of its majority as would be necessary under the proviso now in the clause. The two conditions are really the same.


Mr Watson - In one case, absolute proof is not required, but in the other, it is. That is the main point of our contention.


Mr DEAKIN - I disagree with the Prime Minister there. I say that our proviso does not require absolute proof. It passes the comprehension of the ordinary student of this question, why the Government, the proviso for majority representation having been inserted, have thought it worth while to take the, serious step they have taken when the difference between substantial representation and the obtaining of an absolute majority is so slight. I noted their action with surprise, and, at first, almost with incredulity. Having listened to many speeches, I am still in doubt as to the reason why they took that step. Until Wednesday evening last, when the amendment now before the House was moved, I believed, and had been informed, that the Government had a majority for the reversal of the previous vote. The honorable and learned member for Corinella about a fortnight ago-


Mr McCay - No, early last week.


Mr DEAKIN - I am not sure of the date. The honorable and learned member told me that he thought of taking a vote on the question of going into Committee to reconsider the clause, instead of in Committee. I asked him why, and he said, " Because in the clause we have now all that we can get, expressed as we wish to express it. The vote will be the same in either case."


Mr Hughes - He wanted to secure the vote of the Chairman of Committees.


Mr DEAKIN - He did not mention the Chairman of Committees, and I do not suppose he thought about him.


Mr Mauger - If he did not think about him, others did.


Mr DEAKIN - He gave the sufficient reason that we had already got the principle of majority representation expressed, .and he asked, " What more can we get? Why not fake a vote on the question at the first opportunity?" Subsequently it occurred to me that in taking a vote in the House the honorable and learned member would place himself at some disadvantage, because he would virtually say to those who disagreed with him, but who may not have agreed with the Government proposal, " You must vote either for or against my amendment."


Mr Watson - He was quite safe, having the solid support of those who are opposed to the Bill.


Mr DEAKIN - Two honorable members have intimated that had the matter been discussed in Committee, they would have voted to retain the proviso as it stands.


Mr Watson - Only one honorable member has stated that.


Mr DEAKIN - I heard one honorable member say it, and understood that another honorable member had also said so. The proposal of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, to which I agreed, did not appear to me in the least likely to become the turning point in the fate of the Government, especially after they were satisfied with an amendment of their own so closely resembling it.


Mr Hughes - Had the honorable and learned member any hand in drafting the original proviso?


Mr DEAKIN - Yes, I was consulted in the House during the debate. It was altered two or three times.


Mr Hughes - Did not the honorable and learned member say that the proviso was a matter of no moment ?


Mr DEAKIN - No. Directly it was put forward I said that it solved the difficulty, and appeared to me infinitely preferable to any other suggestion which had been mentioned. It really crystallized the usual practice of the State Courts in a distinct form. Who could object to that ? There was a great deal in the proposal of the honorable member for North Sydney, but it would have required considerable time to elaborate it, and would have necessitated such an alteration of the machinery of the Bill that I thought it could riot be adopted. Several alternatives were circulated, and that of the honorable and learned member for Corinella seemed to me the best. The Attorney-General last night quoted me as saying that I had voted for every line and letter of the Bill, and pointed out that I had voted for two important additions. He forgot, however, that the statement which he quoted was made to contrast my position with that of the Government, who had circulated four pages of printed amendments of the Bill which they challenged me for not supporting.


Mr Watson - The original Bill was not ours.


Mr DEAKIN - It was mine by adoption.


Mr Watson - The honorable and learned member did adopt it?


Mr Kelly - So did the present Government.


Mr DEAKIN - As contrasting my position with that of the Government, the passage quoted by the Attorney-General is in no sense misleading. Then I stated that I had voted for two important additions or alterations.


Mr Watson - Restrictions.


Mr DEAKIN - The Minister can call them restrictions if he chooses. I have no objection to that term. One of the amendments forbade the organizations to have a political character, and the other conditioned the granting of preferences.


Mr Watson - The honorable and learned member opposed us whenever an amendment was vital.


Mr DEAKIN - No, that is not correct. The preference question would have been vital to the Government, but for the votes of myself and some of my friends who went over and voted with them. In reply to the Minister of External Affairs. I would point out that, but for myself and others, whom he taunts with having failed to exhibit fair play, the Ministry would not have lived for one day after being sworn in, nor for a week after their recess, nor at later times when crises occurred.


Mr Watson - If the honorable and learned member thought that the Ministry should have been turned out at that stage, he should have taken action accordingly-


Mr DEAKIN - So I would have done.


Mr Watson - Then, there is no obligation.


Mr DEAKIN - I am speaking on the question of fair play. Neither I nor the great majority of honorable members on this side - I do not know that any honorable member did - adopted the proposal of the honorable and learned member for Corinella with the idea that it would become one upon which the fate of the Government would depend. When we voted for the amendment, we did so because we believed it imposed a wise and necessary condition. When we were asked to reverse our votes, we desired to be shown why that which was wise and necessary in our opinion, should not be retained. We are not responsible for the fact that the Government chose to make the amendment a vital question. That choice rested absolutely with them; and having regard to all they are prepared to concede now, it remains inexplicable to me why they should have made so narrow a difference a vital question.


Mr Watson - Is it inexplicable that we should support the Bill as introduced by the honorable and learned member?


Mr DEAKIN - The Prime Minister is a man with whom I should be unwilling to exchange any harsh words ; but I believe that this debate, and especially the speech of his honorable colleague, the Minister of External Affairs, has done more to impair the reputation of the Government than anything which has hitherto occurred.


Mr Watson - That is the view of an opponent.


Mr DEAKIN - I do not say that because we are opponents, but because there has been manifested once again that spirit which will be displayed to the desperate cost of my honorable friends in the two corners when they face the electors. Those most closely allied with the Labour Party, those who make the greatest sacrifices for them, who stand closest to them, and who most wish to help them, are always the first to be sacrificed by them. One may help the Labour Party for one month, two months, three months, or four months ; but the moment that one stops or makes a single independent step he is treated as a bitter enemy. After having been apparently trusted, he will be treated as if suspected from the first moment ; he will be condemned as if he had attacked them from the outset. That is the treatment which follows alliances with political machines. One can ally himself with men ; one could ally oneself with honorable members like the Prime Minister.


Mr Watson - With whom is the honorable and learned member now allying himself? He will yet be thrown aside like a sucked orange.


Mr Hughes - The honorable and learned member sought an alliance with the Labour Party.


Mr DEAKIN - It is perfectly true that I was prepared to ally myself with the Labour Party, and it is also true that I often suggested an honorable alliance. At those times, however. I always said, "Make your machine such that all those men who stand by you shall be treated as equal in every respect to members who subscribe to the labour pledge; divide your programme, separate the prophetic and impossible from the practical and useful, and then we can enter into a useful alliance with you." One could make such an alliance with men like the Prime Minister. It is not his men in the House I fear, but the machine. Most members are properly governed by a sense of loyalty, bred by alliance and action together - you can appeal to their conscience and judgment. But when you come to the machine, you are dealing with something which has no loyalty, no conscience, and no judgment.


Mr Watson - What about the machine which the honorable and learned member recently inaugurated ?


Mr DEAKIN - On the occasion of the inauguration to which the Prime Minister refers, I said from the platform that if the proposal of the organization was to create such a machine as I had been criticising I should be against it, as much as against that of the Labour Party. I do not wish to fight machine with machine, but to fight machine politics with the full freedom and independence of a representative of the people.


Mr Watson - The silence of honorable members opposite is the result of the operation of a machine.


Mr Hughes - Yes, they are all wound up and dare not go off.


Mr DEAKIN - I had no intention to detain the House at any greater length than might have been necessary to reply to the remarks of the Attorney-General last night. Having occupied some little time, and having allowed my blood to cool, I feel that I have replied perhaps too much in kind to the remarks of the Minister of External Affairs. If so, I have departed from my rule. The best way to meet angry attacks is to answer in another manner. If anything has been uttered below our high parliamentary level, I regret it. Up to now, we have, as a Parliament, established a standard of which we need not be ashamed, and I hope that we shall always be able to maintain it.







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