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Thursday, 27 October 1904

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN (Eden) (Monaro) . - I think that the answer of the Treasurer is a very satisfactory one. I hope that the action taken in this case will not be regarded as establishing a practice. What is being done is being done not as a sympathetic act, but as an act of mere justice. But the Treasurer is right in saying that the Government of the day must deal with all these cases on their merits. Personally, I feel that the gentlemen concerned have suffered great injustice, though I agree with the Treasurer that we should not cast a slur upon the Electoral Department for what has happened, and that considering the area to be covered, and the rush of work, the Department did verv well. We must remember that the official? were all new to the work. They were not treading the beaten track. Although I warmly advocate this proposal, I have no desire to rush it on the Government; but I hope that when it is fully considered by the Cabinet, the justice of recouping these gentlemen for the loss which they have sustained through the action of Government officials will be recognised.

Sir GEORGE TURNER - I wish it to be understood that it is intended to consider the matter, not only in the interest of the two sitting members, but also in the interest of the two gentlemen who lost their seats. If anything is done, it must be done for all.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Division 3 (Parliamentary Reporting Staff), £7,054; division 4 (Library), £3,019 ; division 5 (Refreshment Rooms), £820 ; division 6 (Water Power for Parliament House), £300; division 7 (Electric Lighting, Repairs, dfc), £1,228; division 8 (Queen's Hall), £604; agreed to.

Division 9 (Parliament Gardens), £482. Mr. MCDONALD (Kennedy).-I think that so long as the Federal Parliament occupies these premises, we should see that not only the building, but the gardens, are kept in a proper state of repair. I have gathered, however, that there were many things in connexion with the gardens which were not attended to last year, owing to the limited amount at the disposal of those in charge of them.

Sir George Turner - Parliament voted £100 for contingencies, but only £22 were spent.

Mr McDONALD - I am not speaking to the Treasurer so much as to the House Committee. I understand that assistance was required at a particular time of the year, and that it was not forthcoming. We have been treated generously by the State of Victoria in being allowed to occupy these premises, and we should therefore see that they are kept in as good repair as they were in when they came into our possession. I hope that the House Committee will in future give all the assistance that is necessary for the proper management of the gardens.

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