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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales) - I hope that every honorable senator who values courage and manliness of character will vote against this amendment. The press, as a whole, is fair, though there are times when things are done which are to be regretted. But any newspaper of standing which values its position recognises the obligation to allow anybody who has been aspersed in' its column to give an explanation. There are newspapers in Australia which have not been true to that position; they have suffered in reputation in consequence. But could there be anything more unsatisfactory than the position of a candidate fighting his way through an electorate who has to admit that he has been a party to this provision ? It might do him more harm than any newspaper criticism could possibly do. I also draw attention to the self-evident fact that any criticism which appeared in a newspaper two or three days before an election could not possibly be affected by the amendment proposed by Senator Pearce; and it is statements that are published immediately before an election that are of the greatest importance. I do earnestly impress upon every member of the Senate who values his reputation for courage and manliness in conducting a political fight to vote against this proposal.

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