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Thursday, 22 September 1904

Mr MAHON (Coolgardie) - Yesterday, while the honorable and learned member for Corio was speaking, the PostmasterGeneral, in reply to an interjection, suggested that I had not the courage, when occupying the office which he now fills, to deal with certain tenders giving preference to local manufacturers over foreign competitors. I do not think that it was right for him to charge me with want of courage in the matter.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member ought to relate what led up to my remark.

Mr MAHON - I have said that the PostmasterGeneral made the suggestion in reply to an interjection.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - An interjection made by the honorable member himself.

Mr MAHON - Yes. Surely the PostmasterGeneral does not expect me to repeat every detail of the proceedings. I do not wish to occupy the time of the House unduly. I find also a very sarcastic reference to me in the policy speech of the Prime Minister.

Mr Reid - Surely sarcastic references should not be the subject of personal explanations.

Mr MAHON - Perhaps the right honorable gentleman will allow me to make my explanation. I do not wish to refer either to him or to the Postmaster-General unnecessarily. This precious pair of political hypocrites may be left to the vengeance of their betrayed and outraged constituents.

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