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Wednesday, 12 September 1906

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) . - -I sympathize with Senator Walker. ] do not believe that either he or the Australian Mutual Provident Society has done what has been imputed. I wish to make a statement in support of Senator Higgs, who I regret has left the Chamber. In his opinion, certain organizations in Australia are prepared to find money to fight the forthcoming elections. I happen to know a member of the Federal Parliament who was told in Melbourne only recently that his re-election could be made easy for him provided that he would vote in a certain direction on a measure which was coming before the Chamber.

Senator CLEMONS (TASMANIA) - Is not that the position of these gentlemen?

Senator O'KEEFE - C - Certainly not, because the member who was approached by the individual was entirely opposed to the Bill.

Senator Clemons - They have been carefully selected.

Senator Millen - This is a charge of attempted bribery, and, as SenatorO'Keefe has gone so far, does he not think that he ought to give the names?

Senator O'KEEFE - I - I am not in a position to prove my statement, and I would not be foolish enough to give the name of the individual until I was in a position to do so.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Why make the assertion then?

Senator O'KEEFE - I - I am not in a position to prove that the individual who approached the member was acting for any particular organization, but I have very fair grounds for believing that he was. After saying to the member, " How are you going to come out about you election ?" he said -

Senator Millen - Is that a member of the Senate?

Senator O'KEEFE - A m A member of the Federal Parliament.

Senator Trenwith - I rise to a point of order. It is a very serious thing for nn honorable senator to assert that a member of the Federal Parliament has been approached corruptly without mentioning the names of the persons concerned. If it is not out of order, it is extremely derogatory that a statement should be made with out the names being mentioned, because it is a reflection on every member of this Parliament.

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