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Wednesday, 18 July 1906

Senator TRENWITH (VICTORIA) - As a general principle. It may, and certainly will, happen that for many positions-

Senator McGregor - We should like to know how much search the Government have made in Australia for a man.

Senator TRENWITH - I am not at present making even that inquiry, but simply affirming my belief in the principle that for all purposes we ought to feel, and to act as if we felt, that Australians are good enough.

Senator Mulcahy - No exceptions at all?

Senator TRENWITH - No exceptions at all.

Senator Playford - There is no rule without an exception.

Senator TRENWITH - I am going to urge that there should be a rule without any exception. It certainly willhappen that, for some positions, it will be possible to obtain better men abroad than here, but it as certainly will happen, and it has happened, that for some positions we can get the very best talent in the world in Australia. In connexion withany scheme of colonization we adopt, we must be sure that it shall be carried out on lines in accord with Australian sentiment and Australian policy. Although we may not in every possible circumstance be sure of getting in Australia the very best men the world can supply, I think we may be reasonably sure of getting men extremely good, and good enough for all purposes. Therefore, if a vote is forced - though I hope it will not be, because I do not think it is fair that it should - before we are sufficiently informed, I shall simply have to affirm the principle in which I believe. The principle involved is an important one, but, as Senator Best has pointed out, there is no great urgency. We all desire to do what is fair and honorable ; and none of us - certainly not I - desire to put the Government in any ignominious: position. I have no desire to unduly affront the Government ; and it must be remembered that until we express an opinion,, they are justified in doing whatever seems to them desirable. If before we express an opinion the Government have gone so far as, in some measure, to have pledged the honour of the Commonwealth, we must support the Government, and' afterwards declare our views on the general' principle.

Senator O'Keefe - We would all do that, if the honour of the Commonwealth were pledged.

Senator TRENWITH - We do not know at present whether the motion, if carried, would put the Government in a position that would appear to the worldto imply a breach of faith, and I do notthink that Senator Higgs, or any other honorable senator, merely for the sake of a single appointment, would like to take a step which would have any such result.I ask honorable senators who agree with me as to the principle, to join with those who desire further information, and to consent to an adjournment of the debate.

Motion (by Senator Croft) put -

That the debate be now adjourned.

The Senate divided: -

Ayes .........14

Noes .........16




Question so resolved in the negative.

Motion negatived.

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