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Thursday, 4 October 1906

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - I am sorry that the Minister has consented to make any alteration in the paragraph. It is well known that in certain quarters there is an inclination to cast suspicion on politicians. But if there are any public men who cannot possibly go wrong without discovery, they are politicians, especially Ministers of the Crown, on whom the fierce light of criticism can be brought to bear with much effect. So far as the present Minister of Trade and Customs is concerned, if anything could have been trumped up against him, it would have been brought forward before now. I am sorry that Senator Playford has become a party to this amendment.

Senator Playford - I have no strong feeling in the matter.

SenatorDE LARGIE. - But there has been strong feeling manifested from time to time. Whyshould we have such implicit faith in lawyers and so much suspicion in politicians? Have lawyers been so very successful in the settlement of disputes of this kind? I speak with some experience, and I unhesitatingly say that lawyers have been no more successful than have politicians. In Western Australia there is a feeling in certain quarters that, instead of a Judge as President in the Arbitration Court, there should be some one popularly elected. A Member of Parliament, who has first been returned by the people, and then appointed to the position of Minister, would approach nearest to that qualification. In my opinion, the alteration proposed is a very foolish one at the present time. If a division is taken, I shall vote for the retention of the paragraph.

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