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Thursday, 27 September 1906


Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - I cannot understand the brevity of the speech in which the Minister introduced this Bill. There is no doubt that this is an important measure, which should not be hurled at us in this manner. It is difficult for ma to understand why the people of Kalgoorlie should be taxed to find money for a cable from which they can never benefit. The introduction of this Bill scarcely occupied five minutes.


Senator Keating - I spoke for just seventeen minutes.


Senator DE LARGIE - How many minutes were the Senate occupied in considering another measure, the name of which I need not mention.


Senator Clemons - We did not count that time by minutes.


Senator DE LARGIE - When we consider the time which was spent over the Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie Railway Survey Bill, it is wonderful bow quick a change has come over the scene. We find Senator Clemons crossing the floor and indulging in friendly confab with the Honorary Minister. Why this change from bitterness to blandness? A change which almost entitles Senator Clemons to be called a political Chesterfield.


Senator Clemons - There was no bitterness so far as I am concerned.


Senator DE LARGIE - Does all this change arise from the fact that one State is getting at the Commonwealth purse? The Senate- is entitled to more information than it has received on .this question. I am sure that the representatives of Tasmania cannot have sufficient cast-iron cheek to hope that Western Australian representatives will vote for a measure of this kind. I should like to have some explanation of that, and if Senator Keating is unable to give it at this stage, perhaps some other representatives of Tasmania may be able to do so. We are entitled to know why the people of Western Australia should be asked to take upon themselves this responsibility, in order to pay something for the people of Tasmania, which they have rightly had to pay themselves in the past. With the solitary exception of Senator O'Keefe, the whole of the representatives of Tasmania in the Senate are enthusiastic supporters of the principle of private enterprise. They are getting a taste of private enterprise through this cable, and I ask why thev should be so anxious to get rid of its blessings?


Senator Clemons - This is not getting rid of it. It is paying for it.


Senator DE LARGIE - No; it is asking other people to pay for it. It should not be forgotten that Tasmania is the most lightly taxed State in the Commonwealth, and it is a shameful thing that the people of a State which is naturally as rich as any of £he other States, should ask Western Australia to bear a burden which she should not be asked to bear.







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