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Monday, 18 December 1905

Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales) - I have no hesitation whatever in saying that the Commonwealth is under an obligation of considerable indebtedness to Senator Smith for the journey he undertook, involving, a considerable length of time and much cost to him. The information which he has been able to give the Commonwealth was of such a character that we should have been justified in voting a considerable sum of money for it if we had had to obtain it in ordinary ways. Certainly the information that he obtained would, if we had sent a Commissioner to obtain it, have involved a great deal of expense.

Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - The Commonwealth might have paid his personal expenses, anyhow.

Senator PULSFORD - It is to be regretted, as Senator Higgs has observed, that the information alluded to has been made public in, such a way. But I do not think that we have any occasion to regret it, in view of the fact that it has afforded an opportunity for a full explanation to be made. I may add that, although several trips have taken place to various States, I have not joined in them, not because I objected on principle to participate in such journeys, but simply because my engagements would not allow me. If I had been able to accompany honorable senators, I should have been very happy to do so, because I consider that anything that is calculated to better acquaint the members of this Parliament with the circumstances, the growth, and the interests of the States, which it is our function to govern, must necessarily be of great advantage to Parliament and to the community.

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