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Tuesday, 27 September 1904


Mr CULPIN (Brisbane) - I . wish to say a few words to the House on the subject of the Prime Minister's policy. ' Hitherto very little has been said about it,- but I shall direct my attention immediately to it. It is a very simple policy, but it has been put forward by a complex Ministry. It is, too, a new policy for Australia as a whole, and a new policy also for this Federal Parliament, but it is nevertheless indorsed' by the advanced members of the Prime Minister's party, such as the honorable and learned member for Wannon, the honorable members for Flinders, New England, and Parramatta, and the right honorable member for Swan. We have not heard a word of indorsement from the . honorable and learned members for Ballarat and Bendigo, nor from the honorable members for EdenMonaro and Laanecoorie. Neither has the honorable member for Oxley indorsed it, though we may perhaps yet hear something from him in regard to it, because for eight years he lived in' a State where a similar policy -was in force. He lived in Queensland from 1893 to 1 90 1, when he entered the Federal Parliament and came to Melbourne. Since then he has not had much to do with a policy of this kind, though about a month ago he went to Queensland and attended the funeral obsequies of the remnants of the party which had supported a similar policy in Queensland. He is, therefore, well fitted ' to assist the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth at the present time. I intend to place before the House the causes which impelled the adoption of a similar policy in Queensland in 1893. The Liberal Party, which was led by Sir Samuel Griffith, was, in 1888, opposed by Sir Thomas Mcllwraith, until something very like a dead-lock occurred. This was overcome by a coalition, which adopted a policy similar to that enunciated by the right honorable member for East Sydney. That policy was followed by what came to be known, as the continuous Government, from 1893 until its death from inanition in 1903. That ' continuous Government was in its youth lively enough, but it committed excesses from which the State of Queensland still suffers. The paltry sum of £333,000 which the honorable and learned member for Corio says that the right honorable member for East Sydney placed on the wrong side of his balance-sheet, is a trifle compared with the money which the continuous Government in Queensland played with and dissipated. Their conduct in that and other matters was responsible for bringing the Labour Party into existence in 1893. That party spared no effort to denounce the misapplication of public funds by the Government, and to cover up its sin and shame the Government adopted the policy which has been adopted by the right honorable member for East Sydney - " Down the Labour Party." The constituency which I have the honour to represent forms part of a State which has experienced sad results from the coalition of factors similar to the parties which have come together to support the present Government. My attention was first drawn to politics in Queensland in 1893. The then Government, which subsequently became known as the continuous' Government, from the fact that, with variations, it continued in office from 1888 to 1903, was due to a compact between a former Government and the Opposition to combine and divide the spoils. There remained in existence, however, a remnant which did not bow the knee to Baal. A measure for the abolition of kanaka labour had been passed in Queensland in 1888, but it was repealed as soon as the continuous Government came into office. The most serious trouble which resulted to the State, however, was due to the financial operations of the Government. It had no difficulty in persuading Parliament that huge borrowing was necessary, the effect of which is the present heavy debt of the State. Whereas Victoria owes only £47- per head of her population, Queensland has a debt of nearly £80 per head. In 1. 88 1, before the continuous Government came into power, the debt of Queensland was only £13,250,000, whereas in 1891 it had increased to £29,500,000. Mr. SPEAKER.- Does the honorable member intend to connect these remarks with the motion before the Chair?


Mr CULPIN - I certainly do. I am about to show how the difference - over £16,000,000 - was spent, and why the Labour Party came into existence. Many honorable members think that the money was spent for the benefit of the people of Queensland. That is a mistake. It was not so spent, but was applied to a purpose of which the public had no idea. In 1891- the Government of Queensland received from loans and' ordinary revenue £6,269,181, and spent only £5,836,847. Therefore, there was a surplus, somewhere, °f £432,344- In 1892 the Government received from loans and revenue £6,907,985, and spent only ,£5,306,276, leaving a surplus, somewhere, of ,£1,601,709. In 1893 and 1894 the same kind of thing went on, and during the four years mentioned, a cash surplus of £3,007,755 was accumulated. Honorable members may regard that as a satisfactory result, but in view of the purpose to which the money was applied, there was no cause for congratulation. The Government placed that money in the hands of the Queensland National Bank.


Mr Page - Was that a coalition Government ?


Mr CULPIN - It was the continuous Government.


Mr Page - But was it a coalition Government ?


Mr McCay - It was an alliance Government.


Mr CULPIN - It was a Government formed by the coalition of the Mcllwraith and Griffith parties. In 1892 the Queensland National Bank, held £1,403,000 of Government money.


Mr SPEAKER -I would remind the honorable member that the question before the Chair is " that the present Administra-r tion does not possess the confidence of this House." I have waited for some time in order to discover a possible connexion between the state" of the finances of Queensland ten years ago and the question before "the Chair, but I have not been able to do so. I trust that the honorable member will confine his remarks to the subject of the motion.


Mr Page - I believe that the honorable member wishes to connect his remarks with the motion by showing what was done by a coalition Government in Queensland and what is likely to result from our having a coalition Government in this Parliament.


Mr SPEAKER - I have been listening to the honorable member for some minutes, with a view to discovering a connexion between his remarks and the subject of the motion, and I have not yet been able to perceive it.


Mr CULPIN - As I stated at the outset, my intention is to show that the object of the present Government is identical with that of the continuous Government in Queensland in 1893. It is possible that considerations similar to those which brought about the adoption of that policy by the Queensland Government may be actuating the present Government. As Ministers have declared that it is their policy to "down" the Labour Party, I think that I am justified in showing how the Queensland Government, which had a similar object, conducted its business. After having acted in such a manner as to bring the Labour Party into prominence, they afterwards tried to destroy it, but the Labour Party triumphed. I hope the same -result will follow here. We have a perfect, right to do our best to bring about the defeat of the present Government. Until the Labour Party in Queensland occupied the Opposition benches in sufficient force to make their influence felt, the Government continued to place their surplus funds in the hands of the Queensland National Bank. In 1892, the total liabilities of the bank amounted to £8,250,000, of which £1,250,000 was due to the Government. In 1893, the total liabilities stood at the same figure, but the cash deposited by the Government (represented £2,250,000. In 1894, the total liabilities still amounted to£8,000,000, whilst the indebtedness to the Government amounted to £3,125,000. In 1895 the total liabilities remained the same, but no less than £3,564,000 was owing to the Government. Just before the Labour Party came into prominence,, the Queensland Government sent home £600,000, which was placed in the Queensland National Bank in London for the purpose of paying' interest on loans, but the bank retained it, and devoted it to other purposes.


Mr SPEAKER - I am very reluctant to interfere with any honorable member whilst he is addressing the House, but I am bound by the rules which I have to administer to see that the subject-matter of honorable members' speeches has some connexion with the question under discussion. I cannot discover any relationship between the subject which the honorable member is now discussing and the motion before the Chair.


Mr CULPIN - I had just about concluded my remarks upon that branch of my argument. I desire to point out that the policy of the present Government is identical with that which was adopted by the Queensland continuous Government, after it had pursued a most shameful course of conduct. When the Prime Minister outlined his policy, he also defined what he meant by the terms " labour " and " worker." It has frequently been asserted, as a reproach to the Labour Party, by persons who know better but who wish to appear ignorant, that it does not include professional men. As a matter of fact, that statement was recently made by the Daily Mail, a newspaper which is published in Brisbane, and which is gradually taking the place of the Brisbane Courier. It does not contain a particle of truth. Honorable members will perhaps pardon me if I refer to the definition of " working classes " which was given by the Prime Minister, because it is practically identical with that, which I gave to the Melbourne Herald on the nth July. He says -

The working classes include practically every class, because all, except idlers or parasites, are workers.

My definition of the term reads -

Exclude loafers, and you have a very simple problem. When you have cleared off the loafers and idlers, be they poor or wealthy, you have a mass who, in the main, are all working men. Starting with the Prime Minister, every member of Parliament who fulfils his parliamentary duties is a worker; but every man who, being elected to Parliament, evades . his duties on the plea that husiness elsewhere takes him away, is a loafer, as far as Parliament is concerned. The rich man loafing is a loafer, the rich man with an honest profession, honestly attending to it, is a worker.

It will be noted that while the two definitions begin in the same way, my definition makes, some progress. The Prime Minister does not belong to a progressive party, and consequently his definition makes no progress. The . right honorable gentleman again indulged in definitions in the manifesto which he issued to the people of East Sydney. He said -

With us the term "labour" and the term "worker" have a broad and generous meaning. They are not the badges of a class or section, but the designation of the whole community.

But the very >next quotation which I shall make from the utterances of the right honorable gentleman is strangely at variance with that sentiment. In addressing the Kyneton farmers he is reported to have said -

The time had come when it devolved upon him to stand right across the path of the Labour Party.

The continuous Government of Queensland said the same thing until it died. It was a person pf the same stamp as the honorable member for Parramatta, the honorable member for E Flinders, and the honorable member for Oxley, who asked George Stephenson what would happen to his locomotive if a cow were to stand right across the railway line? The answer of the inventor, it will be recollected, merely expressed fear for the cow. Similarly I think that in the present state of politics the locomotive will not wait for the cow. Then, again, the right honorable member for Swan declared that the Labour Parly is attempting to deprive people of their property. Who believes him? Nobody. I ask the honorable member for EdenMonaro, the honorable and learned member for Bendigo, and the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, whether they indorse his statement? Possibly it might be supported by as numerous a band as the defunct politicians whose funeral the honorable member for Oxley attended. In the Queensland parliament, of seventy-two members, a remnant of seventeen supporters of the late continuous Government, remains. In reference to this question, I wish to quote the following passage from the Age :-

The two parties of liberalism and labour, which formerly invariably went to defeat under their divided flags, have achieved, in union, a notable victory. The Ministerialists have gained eight seats, having increased in numbers from thirteen to twenty-one ; while the labour members in the new Parliament are thirty-five, as against twenty - three in the old House. Thus has come to an abrupt end one of the longest periods of Tory class domination of which Australian history furnishes any record. The old conservative party, which favours the policy of a black Queensland, and advocates the selling of vast tracts of land for nominal sums to large capitalistic syndicates; whose favorite plan of adjusting the finances is to impose what is virtually a heavy poll tax upon the working men, in order to keep up an extrava-I gant bureaucratic Civil Service ; and whose idea of encouraging national progress is to offer concessions for the building of private railways on the rotten land grant system - such a party can no longer rule the destinies of the northern State now that it is brought face to face with a united Liberal-Labour combination. The lesson should not be lost upon Federal politicians and their supporters in the constituencies. Substantial achievments are only possible for liberals of all kinds when they march together under ?. flag of practical politics.

The honorable and learned member for Ballarat has been making " copy " for the newspapers. One of the remnants of that continuous Government who has been pensioned off in the nominee Chamber in Queensland, was in Victoria, and interviewed the honorable and learned member, as thus reported : -

Speaking with Mr. Deakin, the Queensland visitor was able to show very plainly what the effect has been in Queensland of the Act a'bolishing Polynesian labour. . . . Mr. Deakin's reply was - " See the kind of men Queensland has sent to represent it."


Mr Deakin - Has the honorable member got my telegram, in which I corrected that statement, and which was published in the Courier?


Mr CULPIN - As to the telegram, the newspaper extract is as follows: -

We yesterday received a telegram from Mr. Deakin which reads as follows : -

I hope honorable members will all pay attention to this. " My remarks to Mr. Annear, reported in your paper of I 7th, followed, and related to his statement that Queensland now regretted exclusion of kanaka labour, and had no relevance unless that is understood."

That I think was understood. The extract . I read gives the exact information, and the honorable and learned member need not have troubled to send a correction. But the honorable and learned, member wanted to make it appear that he corrected the statement - that is what he wanted.


Mr Mauger - No, no ; there is no doubt about the honorable and learned member's views on a White Australia.


Sir John Forrest - I think the honorable member for Brisbane is "off the rails there.


Mr CULPIN - There is another contribution from this gentleman, to which be attaches no name - a statement which could only have been made by a vile cur, and it is a pity it was published. I intend to read the statement and also the names the writer mentions in the paragraph,' and ' if there are any of those honorable members present, I hope they will repudiate having had anything to do with the matter. I say ' that this paragraph was communicated by a vile cur - if the communication was made to Mr. Annear, who is reported to have said -

The Queensland representatives, with one or two exceptions, seemed to have but little influence in the House. Prominent legislators had remarked to Mr. Annear -

The prominent legislators mentioned in the paragraph are Mr. Richard Edwards, Mr. George Reid, Mr. Deakin, and Sir John Forrest. ' I now give the paragraph referred to-

Prominent legislators had remarked to Mr. Annear - " Surely a city like Brisbane could have sent a representative whom we might really take seriously."

As to the refusal to recommit clause 48 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, the Prime Minister and the honorable member for New England stated that the amendment inserted had the same effect as the amendment which the honorable member for Bland intended to submit. That is a very misleading statement, and I ought not to allow the debate to conclude without offering a contradiction. The inserted amendment practically amounts to the same thing as though every member of this House had to be returned by an absolute majority of the electors in his constituency, whereas the amendment of the honorable member for Bland, instead of providing for an absolute majority, would be something like a proposal, which appears in the following newspaper extract -

The membership of the Wages Board in the shirt-making trade having expired by effluxion of time, the Minister of Labour has nominated the following persons to fill the vacancies : - Employers, Agnes Crawford, Ellen Eckersall, Charles Mclntyre, R. A. Pryor, Thos. Stephens; Employes : Josephine Fogarty, Ada Gould, Elizabeth Kerrigan, Margaret M. Powell, Marie Stellner If either employers or employes desire to object, one-fifth of the trade must do so within twentyone days.

That is a reasonable proposal, the like of which I think might very well have been adopted.


Mr Fuller - Does the honorable member not believe in majority rule?


Mr CULPIN - I do, and so does the honorable and learned member for Illawarra. But that honorable and learned member would not believe in majority rule if it were necessary for him to be elected by an absolute majority of the electors in his constituency.


Mr Fuller - I always have been.


Mr CULPIN - By an absolute majority of the electors?


Mr Fuller - Yes ; I had no opposition last time.


Mr CULPIN - I want to draw attention to an admirable statement made by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat on the question of a White Australia. It is as follows : -

A White Australia goes further than the preservation of the complexion of the people whose homes are here. It means the multiplying of those homes, so that we shall be strong enough to use and defend the whole of this Commonwealth. It means the maintenance of conditions of life fit for a white man and a white woman. It means equal laws and equal opportunities for all, and protection against the under-paid labour of other lands. It means social justice, so far as we can establish it, and the payment of fair wages. A White Australia means a civilization whose foundations are built in healthy lives, lived in honest toil, under circumstances that do not imply degradation. A White Australia means protection. We protect ourselves from armed aggression. Why not protect ourselves from aggression by commercial means? We protect ourselves against undesirable aliens ; why not protect ourselves against the productions of the undesirable aliens' labour? Unless a White Australia is to have no more than a surface complexion, it must represent a policy which goes down to the roots of the national life from which the whole of our social system and political organization must spring.

On the other hand, we have the halfMinister, who represents Gippsland, anxious to shift the Chinese to Queensland. We do not want them.


Mr McLean - Thai is not correct.


Mr CULPIN - I am pleased .to hear the honorable gentleman deny having made any statement of that kind. I really ha'd not noticed the denial previously, and am pleased to accept it. But if that were done, what kind of a White Australia should we have in a few years under the Reid-McLean Ministry? I intended to say that, and I say it now, notwithstanding the honorable gentleman's denial. On paper it will "read" yellow, and "ma'clean" up piebald. I have given two or three quotations to show what this White Australia business means. The quotations made by the' honorable and learned member for Indi, in his speech a little while ago, are important, in that connexion. He quoted the Prime Minister to the following effect: -

What is the hope of the great manufactures of Australia? How are we going to manufacture cheaply or to compete with the cheap labour of other countries? How are we going to compete with these under-paid, sweated countries until our own labour is under-paid and sweated too? In the plenitude of time, when our millions become tens of millions, we shall have a. crop of misery which will solve the difficulty in regard to cheap manufactures.

When that quotation was made, the honorable member for Parramatta said that it was a shameful one. Does he reiterate that remark ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I did not say that, but it does not matter.


Mr CULPIN - The honorable member said something very like it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Very like it.


Mr CULPIN - The honorable member spoke- about reading the context


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Hear, hear.


Mr CULPIN - I have looked up the speech, because I wanted to see what kind of context it waa which would alter the meaning of such words. The context is as follows: - -

Will the erection of a fence solve it? Never.

I do not see how that alters the meaning of the passage in any way. But I have since come across something else that the Prime Minister said when he was in Queensland. I will quote it directly. In the same speech as that from which the honorable and learned' member for Indi quoted, the right, honorable gentleman said -

When there was a strike in an American factory -what was the cure ? A ship-load of these people from the south of Europe.

And I am sure from the context that that is what he meant. It is disgraceful to preach such a doctrine as that as a cure for strikes, and it shows that the right honorable gentleman does hot believe in conciliation and arbitration. .


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable member suggest that the Prime. Minister favoured that remedy?


Mr CULPIN - He suggested it. Speaking -at Toowoomba on 16th March, 1 90 1, the Prime Minister again expressed, his 'mind on this subject.- He said -

He did not expect a protectionist to support him, and if he did he would call him a political humbug and a shuffler.


Mr Frazer - Is the Minister of Trade and Customs listening?


Mr CULPIN - I wonder what the honorable member for Oxley says to that. In his appeal to the electors the honorable member said -

I am entirely in accord with the principles of conciliation and arbitration in industrial disputes ; old-age pensions ; such a Tariff as will not only meet the needs of the Commonwealth, but foster . and encourage our local industries.

In the -same speech as that from which 1 have already quoted, and which was delivered at Toowoomba, the Prime Minister spoke of fostering and encouraging our local industries. He said - i Let the Commonwealth Government establish the industries, and then they would be sure that the wages would be paid, and the proper hours kept, and no one could sweat any one or get the profit out of them.

Again, at a meeting at the exhibition - al Brisbane during the same tour, he said -

Why not ask the Commonwealth Government to establish industries of the kind the country

Wanted, and employ men and give them fair wages with no sweating and no middleman's profit? They said that .protection set up a standard of wages, but let them go to Victoria and try it. They could set it up in their factories, and then they saw how much they were paying and where the money went, and that the people working in the factories would be treated fairly., and that the State would have to bear the burden. He locked upon the records of the factories system i\ older nations, and he saw nothing in them to excite his enthusiasm. Still less did he see anything in them that he wished to transplant to this fair land of Australia.

Then the Prime Minister went on to talk of the New York slums, and of the woollen mills crowded- with young children, and he said -

The best- way to express their horror at such a result was to vote against, the policy which created it.

One would imagine from hearing him talk thus that there was no sweating of that kind in free-trade England.- But if we compare the labour conditions in England and America I think we shall have no doubt that those in England are the worse of the two. The man who raves, about such things being the result of protection,' when they exist also in free-trade England, is the man who is killing industrial legislation in Australia. The honorable and learned member for Wannon in his speech last week spoke about rags. He referred to " the ragged corner. ' ' He seemed to be anxious to protect his " uncle's " interests, for he again repeated the old chestnut about confiscating- £8,000,000 of money deposited in the banks and substituting notes for it. I wish to point out that the' continuous Government in Queensland got rid of ,£3,500,000 of the people's' money, -and put it into the coffers of the banks. * Queensland has only half a million inhabitants, and if a State with such a population can be robbed of £3,5.00,000, a similar proportion for the whole- of Australia, containing four and a half millions of people, would be £17,500,000. I think I am just as much entitled to speak of the Queensland Government confiscating that money as. the honorable and learned member for Wannon is justified in saying that we propose to confiscate £8,000,000 of cash reserves. The suggested proposal is not really a confiscation in any way whatever. Honorable members, who talk so glibly about confiscating the banks' gold, wink at the way in which the people's gold is used by their party, when they have the whip-hand. They object to a reasonable system of note issue, accredited by time, and accepted by the people. Honorable members should also remember that ' such a note issue does great good for the people. It does for the people what Antonio did for his friends. He says -

I oft deliver'd fromhis forfeitures

Many that have at times made moan to me ;

Therefore, he hates me.

Honorable members opposite who squirm, and object to this currency system, which is intended simply to help the. people, are in the position of Shylock, when he' says-

I hate him.....

But more, for that, in low simplicity,

He lends out money gratis, and brings down

The rate of usance here with us in Venice.

If I can catch him once upon the hip,

I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.

He hates our sacred nation ; and he rails

Even there where merchants most do' congregate,

On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,

Which he calls interest.

That is the position of honorable members opposite, and not of honorable members of the Labour Party. Whose fault is it that this Australia of ours is still in the social condition which we left behind us in the Old Country, and in some cases in an even worse condition? The old Conspiracy Act of George III. is still in force in Queensland; and whale we have here a continent large enough for 100,000,000 of people, we have, by our laws, given our best lands away. If any one coming here desires to settle on the land, although we have such a huge extent of territory, he must pay rent to some one else, whilst the people who hold the lands hold them for profit, and not for use. They make a profit from them, and obtain the unearned increment, whilst the' increased value is made, not by the men who own the lands and receive the rents, but by the farmers and producers who occupy the lands and pay rents which are increased from time to time. That is the result of the 'unfair legislation which the Conservative Party, that has always been in power, have allowed to go on, and it is time now to make them step down, and let a more progressive party take a hand in legislation. .


Mr Hughes - I desire to make reference, by way of personal explanation, to a statement made by the honorablemember for Parramatta the other evening. I have here some documents bearing on the matter to which, I think, the House will permit me to refer. The honorable member said that at the last general elections I had asked the Orange Party or the Protestant Party, to put my name on their list, and that I had not asked them to withdraw it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I did not say that the honorable and learned gentleman had not asked them to withdraw it.


Mr Hughes - I shall read what the honorable member quoted from Mr. Packer's wire -

Never asked to have name withdrawn from list.

I have here a copy of the Watchman, dated 5th December, 1903. No issue prior to that date contains my name. My statement is simply this : I said that I had not asked that my name should be included ; and that when it was included, I requested that it should be withdrawn. I now put before the House and the country these documents as proof that what I said was a fact. In the issue of the. Watchman for 5th December, 1903, there is given a list of Protestant candidates. Amongst that list my name occurs. That was a week and a few days before the last general election. In the issue of the same newspaper, dated Sydney, 12th December - the next issue of the paper - there is a list of Protestant candidates, for whom, of course, those who supported this newspaper, and the movement with which it was connected, were asked to vote. My name does not appear in that list. I think that in itself may.be taken as conclusive evidence that my name was withdrawn at my request, since no other name that appears in the list, published on the 5th December, was withdrawn or altered in any way. I have- a further statement which I received by wire on. the 24th September, from Mr. Connington, who was connected with my committee, to . this effect -

I remember hearing you at two meetings repudiate any sectarian nomination. You asked constituents. not to vote for or against you under a misapprehension.

Mr. Connington'sletter, which confirms that telegram, is also dated 24th September, and arrived here yesterday. He writes -

I have a distinct recollection of the circumstances in connexion with the election, and will, if necessary, swear that my telegram of 24th September, 1904, is absolutely correct.

I merely wish to put those documents forward. I think the House will indulge me so far. I have no wish at all to deny anything in connexion with the matter which actually occurred. I desire merely to say that I never asked Mr. Packer to do anything at all in the direction of including me in the list; that Mr. Packer had been a friend of mine, and that I thought he was still a friend, until I received a notification from the wire quoted by the honorable member for Parramatta that he was hot. When he put my name in the list, as honorable members can readily see from these papers, I went to him, and I said, " Well, I ask you to put a letter in saying that I did not ask for or authorize such a thing." He said, " I cannot do that, because that would get me into trouble, since I put it in without authorization of the head body." That he withdrew it, at my request, I think, is pretty clear, because it was withdrawn whilst no other name was withdrawn, as honorable members will see by reference to the two issues of the Watchman to which I have referred. With this statement I shall leave the matter to the judgment of the House.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Mr.Speaker-


Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member is not entitled to discuss the question, but if he has an explanation to make on his own account, he 'is entitled to make it, though not to make any contribution in the nature of debate on the matter now before the Chair.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am quite aware of that, Mr. Speaker. I was only going to say that the honorable and learned gentleman's statements to-night simply put him in issue with my authority. It is now a matter between the two of them. The position, as I understand it from the statement made to;me, is that the honorable and learned member for West Sydney did ask to be put on the list, and when he found that that was not working for him, as he thought it would, in his electorate, he went and asked to be put out of the list.


Mr Bamford - This is another version.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member can have a lot of versions if he wants them.


Mr Tudor - We have not the slightest doubt about that.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I say that I prefer my informant to the honorable member, and I propose to stick to my informant too.


Mr Frazer - If the first statement does not suit, it can be amended.


Mr Tudor -The honorable member has got other versions.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There are- no other versions. The honorable and learned member for West Sydney himself admits going to see Mr. Packer.


Mr Hughes - I did nothing of the sort, until my name was included in their list.


Mr SPEAKER - Order !


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - And afterwards the honorable and learned gentleman said he had not been to see Mr. Packer.


Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member for Parramatta is debating the explanation made by the honorable and learned member for West Sydney. The honorable member is not entitled to do that. He is only entitled to explain any matter in respect to which he has been misrepresented or misunderstood.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I merely wish to say that the statement I made the other night speaks for itself. It was upon that authority that it was made, and it has been corroborated by other gentlemen who know the facts of the case. They corroborate me, just as the honorable member's statements from his own electorate corroborate him. It is a matter of credibility, and there it must rest.







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