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Friday, 15 December 1905


Senator HIGGS (Queensland) - I do not "desire to delay the Senate, but I urge upon honorable senators the necessity for remaining at their posts until Parliament actually goes into recess. I understand that there is a movement on the boards to try to substitute Lake George for Dalgety in the Act of Parliament fixing the Capital site. If honorable senators stay away, it is very likely that that movement may succeed. I urge them to post themselves up in the reports of the Commissioners on the various sites, in view of the suggested substitution of Lake George for Dalgety in the Bill which is coming from another place.


Senator Millen - The honorable senator has no right to discuss that Bill before it comes here.


Senator HIGGS - I have simply said "another place." That may mean anywhere.


The PRESIDENT - I do not think that the substitution of " another place " for n House of Representatives " makes any difference; but the honorable senator is not out of order in what he has said.


Senator HIGGS - If honorable senators are satisfied that Lake George is the site that ought to be selected in preference to Dalgety, by all means let them vote, for it. But Knowing that this movement was on foot, I looked up the Commissioners' reports, and found that though, when Lake George is full of water, it presents a very beautiful aspect, it is only full occasionally, and sometimes it is absolutelydry. 1 ask honorable senators whether they are going to vote for building a Federal Capital which is to last for all time, on the borders of a stagnant sheet of water, which will give rise to all kinds of diseases, including typhoid.


Senator Millen - That is an absolutely incorrect statement.


Senator HIGGS - The Senate has already made a selection. I favoured Lyndhurst as against Dalgety ; but I hope the Senate will adhere to its decision, and not give way to any pressure which may be brought to Dear by the New South

Wales Government, led by Mr. Carruthers. Some honorable senators seem to think that it will be an advantage to them politically to make this suggested change. But if any change is made after what has taken place lately, Mr. Carruthers will get the credit of it.


Senator Gray - Is this a debate on the Federal Capital question"?


The PRESIDENT - We have a standing order which permits irrelevant matters to be discussed on the motion " That the Senate do now adjourn." and Senator Higgs is quite in order. I do not think that the rule is a good one, and it was not amongst the original Standing Orders, but the Senate insisted oh its incorporation.


Senator HIGGS - I think the standing order was adopted at the instance of New South Wales senators. However, we have been shown a photograph of a beautiful city on a beautiful lake - Lake George.


Senator Millen - The honorable senator is casting a reflection on the value of the report, and on the integrity of the man who made it.


Senator HIGGS - Instead of a beautiful lake we shall have only one partiallyfilled with water, exposing all the dead cats, dead dogs, and other refuse similar to that which finds its way into the stagnant waters at Balmain and elsewhere in Port Jackson. That is not the sort of place we want for a Capital site. I hope honorable senators will bear in mind the urgent necessity there is to adhere to our original selection, and not allow ourselves to be led to depart from it by reason of any political move.







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