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Thursday, 13 October 1904


Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) - I think it is a pity that in his first statement to this House,, after the disposal of the noconfidence motion,- the Prime Minister should exercise his authority to deal with a matter like the Manufactures Encouragement Bill in a way that is evidently designed to assist his own party. It is usual in all Parliaments with which I am familiar to extend to any honorable member who has a motion or a Bill upon the business-paper, the courtesy of allowing him to take charge of the matter to which they relate.


Mr G B EDWARDS (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What about the right honorable member for Adelaide?


Mr FISHER - Unfortunately, he is at present too ill to take charge of a Bill. It is notorious that the Prime Minister and the honorable member for Hume are anything but friendly. I hope that has nothing to do with the action of the Government in this matter, but it is certainly an evidence of the way in which' business is to be carried on. The honorable member for Parramatta has stated clearly that there is a Government in power, which intends to inforce its will upon this House. I am very glad to know that, and I am pleased that he has been authorized to make that statement. It is a pity, however, that it did not come from the Government.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We have had no caucus.


Mr FISHER - I am satisfied upon that point. I understand that honorable members opposite are to have absolutely no knowledge of what the Government intend to do. Upon a previous occasion 'the Prime Minister declared that he could answer for every one of his followers, and undoubtedly he was able to carry every one of them with him. I trust that the honorable member for Eden-Monaro will see the wisdom of gracefully retiring from the position which he has taken up, if only for the advantage of the measure which he seems to have so much at heart.







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