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Thursday, 20 October 1904

Mr WEBSTER (Gwydir) - I am rather surprised at the turn taken by the debate on the motion for adjournment. I must express my admiration at the stand made by the Prime Minister in regard to the remarks of .the honorable member for Moira. We appreciate in public men, as in private citizens in high positions, a readiness to take responsibility, and to resign their posts if they cannot continue to hold them with honour and dignity. For that reason I admired the manner in which the right honorable gentleman replied to the threat of the honorable member for Moira. I think that no leader of a Government who was worthy pf his position would tolerate any dictation of that kind. There is nothing unreasonable in asking for the adjournment of the debate at twenty minutes to eleven o'clock. If the honorable member for Moira has private business to attend to, and it clashes with the business of the country, he ought to make a choice between the two. Some of us, who represent distant States, are prepared to attend at all hours to do the duty for which we were elected. I think that the trouble has been largely brought about by the constant interjections of the honorable member for Parramatta. It is very irritating to have the honorable member continually throwing insinuations across the chamber. Apparently he seems to think that he alone has a right to dictate to the head of the Government as to how business should be transacted- Only the other night he said that the Government were not exercising that firmness which he would like to see. I should advise him to have a consultation with the disconcerted gentlemen in his own party in order to see if he cannot relieve his leader from the indignity to which he has been subjected. But I am glad that the Prime Minister himself is not willing to be dictated to by any honorable member.

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