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Wednesday, 28 September 1904

Mr REID - I am glad to hear it, or rather, I am surprised at it. With reference to the subject of the question, I desire to say that the honorable member for Paddington, who is about to visit England, has been empowered by the Government to make such inquiry, but he has consented to do that without the slightest remuneration, either in the way of allowance for expenses or otherwise. He will do so without the slightest expense to the Government.

Had he not given that reply a motion of no-confidence in the Government would undoubtedly have been submitted. The member to whom I have referred visited England, and upon his return railed against the Government, and announced his intention of voting with the Opposition. As the result of an interview with the Premier, however, he did not vote at all. I suspected what had taken place, and accordingly I consulted the Auditor-General, who showed me that ?350 had been paid to the honorable member in question.

Mr Fisher - Was that expenditure not shown upon the Estimates?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I discovered it in the Auditor-General's report. It was not stated as a gift to the honorable member in question, and I could not ascertain where it was shown, but the Auditor-General enlightened me upon the point. He showed me where it was included, and that is how I discovered that the payment had been made.

An Honorable Member. - Was not that money returned to the Treasury ?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I believe that those responsible for its payment became alarmed when the motion of censure was projected, and repaid it into the Treasury.

Mr Fisher - That is the worst feature of it.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Yes. I am not going to be mealy - mouthed on the question, and I would point out that the person who did that was the right honorable gentleman who .is Prime Minister of the Commonwealth to-day. Nothing on earth would ever induce me to support a man who has been guilty of what that right honorable gentleman has been guilty of.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable gentleman is saying now what he dare not S.9 \: outside. It is very plucky of him.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I dare not say it outside? I have said it many times. I have said that he paid money as a political bribe.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable gentleman dare not say that outside.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - And the? New South Wales Legislative Assembly, believing that to have been done, defeated the right honorable gentleman by thirty-three votes.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Let the honorable gentleman say it outside, where he can be answered.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The Assembly defeated the right honorable gentleman, I say, by thirty-three votes, and it was not because of the £350, but because of the way in which it had been paid, and the purpose for which it was paid.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is a plucky thing for the honorable gentleman to talk of a man who is not .here to answer him.

Mr SPEAKER - Order. The honorable member for Parramatta must not continue his interruptions.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I have felt bound to refer to the matter, as it has been brought up. I do not think it was wise for the right -honorable gentleman to bring up the matter. I should probably not have referred to it at all if he had not done so, but as he has done so I am bound to make a reply.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - And the honorable gentleman has given a complete misrepresentation of the matter now.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I desire simply to add that, so far as the members of the Labour Party are concerned, they know as well as I do that the alliance on this side is open and above-board. There is nothing of a socialistic character of which I disapprove in that alliance. ' They are aware that I go a very great way in support of State Socialism, in the prevention of monopolies, and in support of all that is humane, and in the interests of the flesh and blood of the community. I do not approveof trading in the flesh and blood of the country. I believe that we are bound to stand by the weaker portion of the community, whilst the strong can stand by themselves. There is, to my mind, a very great deal underlying the statement recently made by the Bishop of Hobart. If others of the church would pay more attention to work for the benefit of humanity, it would be better. It is the absence of effort in that direction which has really created the Salvation Army. In my opinion that organization does a great deal more of good than we can entirely estimate at the present time, and that is so because some of those in the various churches do not give 'attention to" certain classes to whom they should give attention.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why does not the honorable gentleman go into church and help them?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I depute that to the honorable member for Parramatta, who is in the pulpit very often.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is what the man outside the church always says.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I know that an attempt is being made to frighten the people of Australia by raising this cry against Socialism. I do not think there is the slightest danger that we shall be troubled with extreme Socialism. I agree with what the Bishop of Hobart has so graphically said on the subject, and I should hesitate before allying myself with the extreme phase of Socialism. I believe that the Labour members of the House have received but scant courtesy, and, indeed, unfair play. I think that the people of Australia like to see fair play. Also, they do not like to see a political party cut in two, and severed in such a way by graspers for office that if may never be joined together again. The free-trade engineers on the other side have been successful in cutting the Protectionist Party in two. They are using every endeavour, and will lose no opportunity to still further divide the party and advance their own cause. I should like to know what position a party can hope to be in if it does not stand solidly to its guns all the time in opposition to the solid battery on the other side. Members of the Protectionist Party who are now to be found on the other side are not standing to their guns. If they are not careful they will find, when they go before the electors, that the party has been so cut in two that it will have little chance against the strong phalanx of those opposed to it. I do not know whether my hope will be realized, but I do hope that better counsels will in future prevail, and that a time will come, and that before long, when a truly Liberal Party, which should embrace twothirds of the members of this House, will fee found voting in the interests of the people of Australia for protection, which is the only policy by which we can insure that a proper labour wage shall be paid.

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