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Thursday, 27 September 1906

Senator WALKER (New South Wales) - - I propose to speak to both motion and amendment. Senator Neild did not intend exactly to blame the Government, but to give expression to our general feeling of regret that nothing has been done in this matter. I must admit, after hear- ing the correspondence read by the Minister, that the Government have apparently kept the matter in view, and it is not altogether their fault that it has not been further proceeded with. It is quite true that some years ago both Houses of the Federal Parliament gave an expression of opinion preferring Dalgety to any of the sites then submitted. Since that time, there have been several Capital Site hunting expeditions, and in this connexion, whatever people might say against him, there is one member of the Government, Sir William Lyne, to whom I could give a certificate as being one of the best men in charge of a picnic expedition -with whom I have had the pleasure to travel-. The catering, under his supervision, was excellent, and he endeavoured to promote kindly feeling amongst those who accompanied him. We hear that the Federal spirit is abroad, and our friends of the smaller States will, I trust, bear with me, as a representative of one of the largest States in the Commonwealth, when I say that we asked them to carry out the spirit of the Constitution in this matter. I have my preference for a particular site, but I am willing to submit to the wish of the majority when the time comes. However, I strongly object, on behalf of New South Wales, to any idea that it is necessary that the Commonwealth should have a Territory comprising 900 square miles. It appeared to me that certain honorable senators, in proposing to acquire a Territory of 900 square miles, had some idea of forming a socialistic State.

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