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Wednesday, 26 October 1904


Mr JOHNSON (Lang) - Whilst I feel every sympathy with the honorable and learned member for Indi, who has made a complaint with regard to what appears to be an unwarrantable and unjustifiable attack upon him by the Argus--


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It was very mild compared to what some of us have ,to put up with.


Mr JOHNSON - I submit that the matter is not one which concerns this House, but is one which lies between the honorable and learned member, the Argus, and the Law Courts. If honorable members were to move the adjournment of the House day after day to call attention to misreports and misrepresentations in the press, the whole of our time would be taken up in considering such matters, to the exclusion of the public business. At the same time, I wish it to be understood that I have every sympathy with the honorable and learned member, especially in regard to the reflection which has been made upon his religion. Every honorable member will, I am sure, regret extremely that any such improper thing was done; and will regard it as an exhibition of the worst possible taste. It does seem strange, however, that whilst indignation is shown in regard to the attacks made by the Argus upon the honorable and learned member, not the slightest word of protest has been raised by honorable members opposite against the attacks which have, time after time, been made upon the Prime Minister.


Mr KING O'MALLEY (DARWIN, TASMANIA) - Those attacks were not of a religious or racial character.


Mr JOHNSON - All kinds of scurrilous, malicious, and slanderous attacks have been made upon the Prime Minister, day after day for weeks and months together, and not the slightest protest has been raised by honorable members. The right honorable gentleman himself has . riot considered it necessary to ask the House to occupy its time in such matters. I think that, while the honorable and learned member has every justification for feeling hurt at what has been said with regard to him, the time of the House could, in my opinion, be better occupied than in considering a matter which should1 be dealt with by the honorable and learned member in another place.







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