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Thursday, 13 October 1904

Mr ISAACS (Indi) - I strongly support the views put forward by the leader of the Opposition. We all have great respect and esteem for the honorable member for EdenMonaro, but, at the same time, I think he must feel that he is jumping the claim of the honorable member for Hume. The latter honorable member introduced the Bill, and, undoubtedly, his name is identified with it, so far as this House is concerned. Why, then, has the matter been taken out of his hands?

Mr Glynn - Surely the honorable and learned member does not think that an exMinister has a special claim in regard to any particular measure.

Mr ISAACS - I am not advancing any claim for the honorable member, as an exMinister, but I hold that, in view of the fact that the honorable member personally identified himself with the measure, and exhibited the greatest interest in it, he has a strong moral claim to precedence in regard to it, and that the traditions of Parliament demand that that claim shall be recognised. No reason has been given by the Prime Minister for departing from a course that is well recognized and respected. I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether he will afford a favorable and early opportunity, for proceeding with the motion on the notice-paper that is identified with my name. That is a matter of extreme urgency.. The right honorable gentleman will understand that we regard this matter as so urgent and important, that he cannot think of attempting to go into recess before dealing with it.

Mr Reid - That is a nice way to put a matter to a Government ! The honorable and learned member will find that the Government will meet him in exactly the same spirit - we will accept no dictation.

Mr ISAACS - I do not want the right honorable gentleman to attempt to fasten on my words any meaning that is not properly attachable to them. I want to ex-' plain that there are far more important measures on the paper than the one which the right honorable gentleman has given to the care of the honorable member for EdenMonaro. Why the right honorable gentleman should select this one measure out of the whole of the measures on the paper--

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is quite enough, anyhow.

Mr ISAACS - I wish to say again that we regard the measure to which I have referred, as extremely urgent, and I ask the right honorable gentleman not to let any feeling stand in the way of his doing his duty to the country. I ask the right honorable gentleman to provide some public time for the full and adequate consideration of a measure which involves--

M.r. McCay. - A measure?

Mr ISAACS - A question, leading up to a measure, which involves the welfare and happiness, and it may be the lives, of tens of thousand's of the people of Australia.

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