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Tuesday, 12 December 1905


Senator STANIFORTH SMITH (Western Australia) - We have been led to suppose that the selection of the three sites in the first instance was merely that of an individual official, and that there was no indorsement by the New South Wales Government. I remind honorable senators, however, that the site of Bombala was officially reserved by the Government of New South Wales.


Senator Lt Col Gould - Pending a decision.


Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Senator Gouldwas careful not to mention that the whole of this land at Bombala was reserved from sale to private individuals, in order to enable the Commonwealth Government to acquire the site for Federal purposes. That was an official action by the Government, and was never objected to by a single member of the State Parliament ; and this, in my opinon, amounts to an indorsement by Parliament of the action of the Government. The whole question as to whether the Capital Site should be 100 miles or a little more from Sydney goes by the board, when we remember that a site as far distant as Dalgety was/ still reserved from sale at the very time when the Commonwealth Parliament decided on the latter, and we have had no intimation since then that there was any objection to our having Bombala. Senator Gould states that New South Wales ought to have offered a site.


Senator Lt Col Gould - A site directly approved bv the State Parliament.


Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - But if the correct procedure be for the New South Wales Parliament to offer a site, we cannot carry out the intention of the Constitution, which provides that the site shall be chosen by the Commonwealth Parliament. Senator Gould's interpretation means that the New South Wales Parliament can select a site anywhere not within the joo miles radius ; but no one can possibly contend that that is the intention of the Constitution. I regret to say that, in my opinion, most of the trouble has been caused purely for political purposes. I am very desirous to see this question settled ; and if a Bill be passed enabling the High Court to interpret the Constitution in this connexion, we shall have done something which will, at any rate, clear the atmosphere, and enable definite steps to be taken.


Senator McGregor - But I believe Mr. Carruthers slandered the High Court?







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