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Wednesday, 29 November 1905


Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania) -Sc far as the item, the Senate, " Travelling Expenses," is concerned, I shall be very glad to vote for its reconsideration.


Senator Pearce - The two items are to be put separately.


Senator MULCAHY - I was not aware of that. In regard to the second item, relating to Sydney Government House, it seems to me that the Senate cannot go back upon its decision of last night without stultifying, itself. We cannot alter our minds with anything like dignity within the brief period of twenty-four hours.


Senator Croft - Does not the honorable senator think that the leaders in another place concur in the promise which has been made by the representative of the Government?


Senator MULCAHY - But a certain procedure has to be adopted if we desire to place our views upon record.


Senator Playford - The Committee has already placed its views upon record.


Senator MULCAHY - But the Minister is now asking us to reverse our vote.


Senator Playford - Only upon certain conditions, which ought to be satisfactory to the honorable senator. If I had been able to announce last night what I have told the Committee to-night, I do not think that they would have reduced this vote.


Senator MULCAHY - The strongest argument which can be used against the maintenance of an establishment for the GovernorGeneral in Sydney was not brought forward last night. If, out of deference to the views of New South Wales, we continue to maintain a vice-regal residence there, we shall be committing ourselves to a policy which it will be very difficult to abandon. I can easily imagine that after we have removed to the Seat of Government, a claim might be raised for the maintenance of a vice-regal establishment, not only in New South Wales, but also in Victoria. In that case, we should have to maintain no less than three separate residences for the Governor- General, which would be a very expensive matter. Last night, I mentioned what is done by Tasmania in connexion with the annual visit of the Admiral of the Australian Squadron. The Government invite him to that State, and provide him with suitable accommodation. Similarly, if New South Wales desires the Governor- General to reside within her borders during a certain portion of the year, she is entitled to his presence if she is prepared topay for it. In this connexion, let the other States follow the good example which has been set by Tasmania. Then, when we remove to the permanent Seat of Government, we shall not be tram melled by any precedent which it will be difficult to overthrow.







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