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Wednesday, 12 May 1915

Mr MAHON (Kalgoorlie) (Minister of External Affairs) . - I think I shall be best consulting the wishes of this Chamber by avoiding the shocking example of vituperation to which wehave just been treated. I have nothing to say derogatory to the Chairman of th"i Panama Exposition, who occupied a seat in this House for so many years and with whom I was as much assorted as the eulogist who ran away from his former constituents to get- a safe seat in this House. If there was any doubt as to the wisdom of the course I have adopted, it has been removed by the speech of the honorable member.

Mr Joseph Cook - In what way ?

Mr MAHON - He has magnified in a ridiculous fashion the recall of an ordinary public servant to his duties in Melbourne. It must have been clear to the House that it was not the benefit of the Public Service or the welfare of Australia that concerned him. Rather he had in view the possibility of gaining some party and political advantage from this attack.

Mr Kelly - What?

Mr MAHON - We will judge this matter upon his statement, upon which much of his harangue hangs. He said that the Cabinet had turned me down. If he were in any other place than this House I would describe his statement in a word of three letters. I am asking the House to judge the statement of this man, because it would be a travesty to call him an honorable member.

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