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Wednesday, 3 July 1901
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Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) - As a matter of principle I do not like to give a silent vote, although I feel that I can add very little to what has. been said in this interesting debate. We will all give honorable senators due credit for the opinions which they have expressed, and we will believe that they are genuine in their desire to see the principle of this amendment carried into effect, but nevertheless I feel disappointed that so many honorable senators have professed' to find - insuperable difficulties in the way of its acceptance Whatever difficulties there are, I think Senator Drake might say that they shall be got over. I can only reiterate what has been said. I can only support the point which has been so ably put forth by Senator Pearce and supported by Senator McGregor, and say that whatever difficulties there are in the way are not insurmountable, but are merely imaginary. I am quite satisfied that if the Postmaster-General were genuine and sincere in his desire to see this principle carried into effect, he would find a way out of the difficulty. I would very much like to see a larger attendance before the division is taken, because I feel that although the amendment may not be. considered a very large one, still the principle underlying it is a. big one, and seeing that it has been accepted by the Government, and by an overwhelming majority in another place, it is not too much to expect that it should be given effect to here. 1 am decidedly in favour of the amendment, and I would very much like to see more honorable senators support it than 1 am afraid will do.

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