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Friday, 28 October 1904

Mr. REID(East Sydney- Minister of

External Affairs). - I ask the indulgence' of the House to be permitted to move a motion with reference to what appears to be a grave crisis, affecting the ' whole British Empire. I have consulted with the leader of the Opposition, who is in full sympathy with me in the course which I am taking. With the concurrence bf honorable members, I move -

1.   That this House feels bound, in the present grave crisis, to express its profound indignation at the cruel and wanton attack recently made by a Russian fleet upon British fishermen whilst they were engaged in their peaceful calling.

2.   That this House fully . sympathizes with the

British Government and people in the demand that those who directed this outrage be punished.

3.   At the same time, this House most earnestly hopes that the peace existing between the British Empire and the Empire of Russia will be preserved by a frank and honorable observance on the part of Russia of her obligations.

I think that any lengthy address upon a motion of this kind' would only weaken the effect of it. The object of the Government in moving it, as it will be moved in both. Houses of Parliament, is in no sense to add to the difficulties of either the British or the Russian Government. Our chief motive is a most earnest desire that the inestimable blessing of peace shall be preserved between the peoples of these: mighty Empires. statement to the House in reference to the new mail contract of the Orient Company? The matter is of so much importance that there should be no delay.

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