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Friday, 4 November 1904

Mr McDONALD (Kennedy) - I should like to say a few words in regard to this matter, because my action was practically the cause of the count-out. I take up exactly the same stand as that adopted by the honorable member for Barrier. If I were near the door of the chamber, and the Government desired to form a quorum, I should move further away instead of entering the House. On another occasion I told the honorable member for Dalley when he came into the labour room, that I would not assist to form a quorum, and the honorable member for Barrier was there and took exactly the same position.

Mr Reid - We have no complaint against the honorable member upon that score, but other honorable members occupy a different position.

Mr McDONALD - My ground for assuming that attitude is that I consider that no Government can possibly carry on with such a slender majority as that possessed by the present Ministry without inflicting humiliation upon themselves, and degrading Parliament. The late Government occupied an entirely different position. If the leader of the Opposition were Prime Minister, and attempted to carry on under similar circumstances, I should not support him for one moment. In fact, I intimated that fact to him very Dlainly. The Prime Minister knows perfectly well - he has stated it repeatedly in this House - that any one of histhirty-six supporters can turn him out of office.

Mr Reid - I did not say that; I said that any one of them might create a lot of trouble.

Sir William Lyne - One member could turn the right honorable gentleman out of office.

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