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Wednesday, 5 May 1915

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I ask the Attorney-General to withdraw his statement.

Mr Hughes - I withdraw it, but I now ask you, sir, to ask the honorable member for Balaclava to withdraw his statement that this Government, or any member of it, pollutes the fountain of justice and makes appointments to the Judiciary for party reasons.

Mr WATT - I did not say that.

Mr Hughes - The honorable gentleman did say so. If he did not say that, he said nothing. That is a reflection which ought not to be allowed to pass.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I followed the honorable member for Balaclava very closely, and I did not understand him to say what the AttorneyGeneral has attributed to him.

Mr WATT - If I used the words or conveyed the impression attributed to me by the Attorney-General, I should not have the slightest hesitation in immediately and unqualifiedly withdrawing it, but I did riot, and would not, make any such suggestion.

Mr Hughes - The honorable gentleman spoke of the exercise by me of judicial discretion in a party manner.

Mr WATT - I do not know why the Attorney-General should claim to be a mentor in the matter of parliamentary manners when he is himself guilty of this unseemly behaviour. I wish to pursue the subject without any party venom. I have been led into an argument which has assumed the character of a dialogue with the honorable gentleman. I do not wish to continue that.

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