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Thursday, 18 August 1904

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) - When I came in just now I had not the slightest intention of saying a word. I really cannot understand why it is that the honorable member who has just resumed his seat should have spoken with such heat.

Mr Kennedy - No heat at all.

Mr Watson - The honorable member had to justify himself.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - There was certainly a very considerable glow, if there was no heat. It appears to me that there must be something underlying the very vigorous statements the honorable member made. I hope that the honorable member and I shall continue to be friends, because I admire him. I trust that nothing I shall say will hurt the hon-

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orable member's feelings; but I must say. in reply to the remarks he has made, that I think there is a very much greater probability of protectionists getting some of that which they desire from a party, the majority of whom are protectionists, when they are supported by a .not insignificant minority of protectionists who do not accept the whole programme of the Labour Party as given by them, than from a Free-trade Party. When the honorable member for Moira boasts of thirteen or fourteen straying protectionists going over to the other side, to carry with them about twenty-six or twenty-seven free-traders, he must believe that those thirteen or fourteen misguided Honorable members have very great power over the twenty-six or twentyseven free-traders. The honorable member made an . attack on the honorable member for Bourke which I do not think justified. That honorable member stood by his colours. He is a protectionist, and we on this side who are protectionists have stood by our colours, whilst others have done their very best to destroy the Protectionist Party in this Parliament. If they do not mind what they are about they will absolutely destroy the party and themselves too. The public like consistency ; they do not like any " Yes-no " business, nor do they like honorable members who are followers of " Yes-no" politicians. One is just as objectionable as is the other. The honorable member for Moira asked what chance I had, as honorable member for Hume, of getting an opportunity from the late Government to deal with the Manufactures Encouragement Bill. I say that I had every chance and a promise 'honestly made, and if it had not been for the action of misguided protectionists who are now following a free-trade leader, the honorable member would have found that this week the Manufactures Encouragement Bill would have been dealt with, and become the law of the land.

Mr Johnson - What an escape the country has had.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - By their vote the other night, the protectionists to whom I refer intercepted the opportunity I should have had of dealing with that particular measure. The onus of preventing the consideration of that and similar measures, which would have been of great value to the country, must rest upon them. The honorable member was, therefore, incorrect and unfair when he said that I should not have had an opportunity of dealing with the Manufactures Encouragement Bill. I was faithfully promised that opportunity, and I was promised that once I got the opportunity of dealing with it, the business would have been uninterrupted until the Bill was finally dealt with by the House.

Mr Kennedy - The honorable member might have had an opportunity as a private member, but not as the member of a Government.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - As a private member I should have had all the rights given by the message. The late Prime Minister was aware of that, and the Speaker also decided that I had as much right to deal with the matter as if it had been 'dealt with by a member of the Government. Let me again emphasize the fact that the protectionists who voted against the last Government have for the time being destroyed the measure to which reference is made.

Mr Johnson - So much the better for the country.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is the kind of company that these protectionists are now keeping ! I should not have said a word, except for what fell from the honorable member for Moira, but I feel that an opportunity to deal with this measure which had been offered to me has been intercepted to the serious injury of the iron industry in Australia. A time will come, I hope, when those persons who believe in dealing with a matter of this kind will be able to record their votes with regard to the action of protectionists who have acted as they have done. I presume that the Prime Minister intends to ask for an adjournment for three weeks. That, of course, will be' granted, but when the House again meets, the question whether the right honorable gentleman has a majority on certain points will have to be tested. Whatever my feelings may be, I have never wavered from my principles as a protectionist, and never shall waver ; and I regret to see joining a free-trade Prime Minister certain honorable members whom I never expected to see in that position, and some of whom personally informed me that they never would join such a combination.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages.

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