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Friday, 30 September 1904


Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member for Barrier is explaining a misunderstanding of a speech which he made last night, and in doing so is quite within the rules of the House.


Mr THOMAS - The report to which I refer reads as follows : -

In Mr. Deakin they had, one of the most brilliant and courteous men in public life, one for whom every one in Federal politics had a sincere respect, but more, for his personal qualities than for anything he had ever done. A voice - What have you ever done? Mr. Reid. - That question showsthat the speakermust be a new arrival. (Laughter.) I have two testimonials to my career. Myfriends credit me with endeavouring to put taxation in New South Wales upon something like an honest footing, and my enemies charge me with turning the country upside down. No one could ever justly accuse Mr. Deakin of putting up or throwing anything down. (Laughter.)

I took that passage to 'mean that while the honorable and learned member for Ballarat has great and pleasing personal qualities, he had done nothing to entitle him to the Prime Ministership. Those are not the actual words of the report, but that is the interpretation which I put upon the passage which I have read. The Prime Minister, however, has stated that it should not carry that interpretation, and I accept his denial ; but 1 wish to have the actual report recorded in Hansard, so that the public may judge between us.







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