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Tuesday, 8 November 1904

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Home Affairs) - The press tes reported fairly well the action which has been taken by the Ministry. We forwarded a copy of the Seat of Government Act to the New South Wales Ministry, requested that negotiations should be opened for the arrangement of a Territory, and urged certain reasons why it should be as nearly as possible in accordance with the wish of this Parliament, as expressed in that Act. The Premier of New South Wales replied that it was a matter upon which he must consult his Parliament, and that at the earliest possible date he would endeavour to get its authority to negotiate with the Commonwealth, and try to arrive at an amicable_ settlement.

Mr Watson - Did he give any indication as to when it would be brought before the State Parliament? '

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Home Affairs) - He had intended to bring the matter before the State Parliament by this time. He wired over for certain information to be forwarded at once, as it might be required at any time, "showing that at the earliest possible moment bc intended to introduce the proposal, but I suppose that its introduc tion has been delayed by the pressure of other business. The whole of this amount on the Estimates will not be available for survey or other work on the Federal Capital site. But it is not anticipated that the contour survey - the first thing to be undertaken when a site is fixed - will cost a large. sum, although it will consume a fair amount of time. Even with three surveyors at work - about as many as could operate - the immediate expenditure would not be very heavy. It is intended to go on with the survey immediately it is possible. When this sum was put on the Estimates, it was thought that it would be sufficient to cover the outlay which had been incurred after the State Parliament had come 10 a decision and the subsequent negotiations had taken place. But if more work can be accomplished than is anticipated, it is intended that an amount shall be furnished out of the Treasurer's Advance Account.

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