Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 18 December 1905

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) - The words of Senator Mulcahy show the necessity there is for honorable senators to travel to different parts Of the Commonwealth in order to obtain true information. We know very well that if we depended on newspaper reports we should be verv much at sea in our legislation. Whenever I have wished to get an idea of what a place is like, it has been my practice to visit it and investigate matters for myself. I have invariably found that if I had relied on newspaper information, I should have been very much misled. I hope that the discussion, instead of in any way injuring the status of the Federal Parliament, and particularly of the Senate, will be the means of acquainting the public with the true situation. From the paragraph read from the Auditor-General's report, it would appear that the names of honorable senators, and honorable members of the House of Representatives, have been mentioned in correspondence between the AuditorGeneral and the Departments of the Treasurer, or of the Minister of Home Affairs. I think that it is the duty of the Government to find out how the information was communicated to the press, and why it is that senators should be particularly mentioned. A section of the press here would appear to have a " set " on the Senate, and to desire to hold honorable senators up to ridicule as often as they can. Although the explanation may be as Senator Mulcahy has said, that certain matters were first brought up in the Senate, we see nothing in the newspapers showing the relative expenditure in connexion with stamps and other such expenses by honorable members in another place. I hope that when any other honorable senator finds it necessary to travel anywhere in Australia in order to obtain information, and form correct ideas of the true position of affairs in various places, the Commonwealth Government will give him every facility for the purpose, in the interests of the Commonwealth itself. Whether it is the fault of the Treasurer's Department, or the Auditor-General's Department, that the paragraph referred to appears in the report, I am unable to say, but it would certainly be better, in the interests of the Commonwealth, if the public officers looked after the Williamses and others of that character, than that they should be at such pains to direct attention to the conduct of members of Parliament.

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH (Western Australia). - I am pleased that honorable senators have unanimously indorsed my action in charging a single fare for the two trips I made to British New Guinea. I have no objection to the mention of my nairne in the newspapers. I have never done anything in the course of my publiclife which I should not desire to see publicly referred to. If I travel from New Guinea to Sydney and charge the Commonwealth with the expense, I See nothing to be ashamed of in that, and I have no objection to any newspaper stating that I have done so. I ask leave to withdraw my motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Suggest corrections