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Tuesday, 28 August 1906

Senator PLAYFORD - The answers to thehonorable senator's questions are as follow : -

1.   23rd July,1906.

2.   Copy herewith.

The letter, which is dated at Government House on 4th July, 1906, and addressed to the Prime Minister, reads as follows: -

Sir, -An idea having, by some means, gained ground in Australia that the present Administration of British New Guinea is unsatisfactory, I have the honour to request that a Royal Commission may be appointed at an early date to visit this Territory, with a view to inquiring exhaustively into the matter .

Not only do I regard such a course as eminently necessary in order that ill-founded impressions may be authoritatively dispelled, but also in the future interests of the Possession, for unless existing charges and grievances - whether real, imaginary, or malicious - are ventilated, injustice will inevitably be done to individuals, and the nature of this may be more far-reaching in its injurious effects than is at present evident.

I shall esteem it a favour if you will inform me, by telegram, whether my request is favorably regarded.

I have, etc.,

F.   R. Barton,


3.   No date definitely fixed, but chairman has been requested to present report before 31st December, 1906.

4.   Difficult to estimate until duration of Commission and amount of travelling are known.

5.   It is proposed to pay the chairman £4 4s. per diem ; other members £3 3s. ; actual travelling expenses are also to be paid.

6.   The total cost was£96, made up as follows : - Travelling and incidentals, £70; printing report, £26. Mr. Hunt's salary for the period of his absence was£164. No additional officer was employed by reason of his absence.

Motion (bySenator Higgs) agreed to -

That the paper quoted by the Minister of Defence be laid upon the table and printed.

Senator PLAYFORD - I beg to lay the paper upon the table.

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