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Wednesday, 1 November 1905

The PRESIDENT - Order ! I must ask honorable senators to allow Senator Dobson to proceed with his speech.

Senator DOBSON - As the result of the overruling of that opinion, Senator Best got some very expensive post-offices provided for his State.

Senator Matheson - I believe, sir, that I am in order in saying " question, question."

The PRESIDENT - Strictly, no interjections are in order.

Senator Matheson - On a point of order, sir, I understand that, under our Standing Orders we are allowed ' to say " Hear, hear," and " Question."

The PRESIDENT - There is no objection to the honorable senator saying " Hear, hear," but, strictly speaking, all interjections are out of order.

Senator DOBSON - Since Sir George Turner announced that he had changed his opinion1 on this point, the cost of all new post-offices has been debited on a per capita basis. Everything is trending in the direction of doing away with the bookkeeping system, and I propose to vote in that direction whenever I can, in the hope that the time will soon come: when the Parliament will be in a position to distribute the surplus on such terms1 as it may think fair, giving bonuses or special terms to any State which may need them. I am convinced that we shall be acting most unwisely if we do not adopt a policy which make this Commonwealth a real Federation as soon as possible.

Senator MILLEN(New South Wales). Both this evening and previously I have heard many references to the Federal spirit. I have never discussed a question from that stand-point, because it has always seemedto me that it was one of the easiest things m the world to assume that the Federal spirit was necessarily in favour of the proposal submitted by an honorable senator who was making an appeal of that sort. What is the Federal spirit? It is a loyal adherence to the Constitution, and therefore, when we take the Constitution as our guide, all references to the Federal spirit are mere ad.captandum appeals. I wish to ask Senator Best, as a lawyer, whether it is competent for one party to a contract to renew it. He is silent.

Senator Best - On the general principle, no.

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