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Wednesday, 1 November 1905

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) - It It has been admitted during the course of the debate that Tasmania has not had fair treatment in reference to the cost of her mail arrangements. I, in common with other Tasmanian senators, have always held1 that, opinion. I am glad that at last we have secured an expression of the same view from Queensland and New South Wales senators, and I hope that that fact will not be lost sight of by the representatives of the Government in the Senate. I feel that Tasmania has not had fair treatment in connexion with her mail services-, I intend to go a step further than honorable senators representing New South Wales and Queensland. I propose to record my vote for the amendment, as a protest against the action taken by successive Governments in dealing with Tasmania.

Senator Pearce - The honorable senator will not accept the promise made.

Senator O'KEEFE - N - No; I am tired of accepting promises. It is, in my opinion, a mistake that there should have been so rauch question about this expenditure being ^distributed on the per capita basis.

Senator Dobson - The honorable senator proposes to do wrong because he thinks the Government are doing wrong.

Senator O'KEEFE - N - No; I should be sorry to think that the Government are intentionally doing wrong. It may be that in this matter they cannot avoid doing wrong, because previous Governments have done wrong, but I propose all the same to record my protest against the treatment meted out to Tasmania in the most emphatic way possible.

Senator Dobson - It will be assumed that the honorable senator thinks the amendment fair.

Senator O'KEEFE - I - I repeat a remark which I used when we were considering the proposed establishment of telephonic communication between Melbourne and Sydney, that until we have a common purse for receipts, we should not have a common purse for expenditure. When we have a true Federation, and all payments are made on the per capita basis, only then will it be fair to charge an honorable senator from any State with provincialism if he casts his vote ®n matters of finance in a way which benefits his own State particularly. Such action may be held to be narrow-minded, but it is forced on honorable senators.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - What is there narrow-minded about it, _ if the proposal is not just?

Senator O'KEEFE - I - It is not just that one State should be treated as Tasmania has been treated. That has been admitted by honorable senators, who are anxious to see the motion carried as submitted.

Senator Givens - I am not particularly anxious to see the motion carried.

Senator O'KEEFE - I - I believe that Senator Givens will be found voting for it. It is not denied by the representatives of the Government that fairer treatment might be afforded to the State of Tasmania. I believe that the time when all the States will receive uniform treatment can only be hastened by the representatives of a State in this the States' House, when they consider their State aggrieved-

Senator Millen - Punishing another State ?

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