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Friday, 1 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - Honorable senators upon this side of the chamber, with a desire to expedite public business, had resolved to curtail their remarks this afternoon as much as possible. Our object was to assist the Government to carry this Bill to a conclusion, a division having taken place upon a vital amendment. But if we are to be treated to exhibitions of bombast and hypocrisy by those who have been chiefly conspicuous by their absence from the chamber while the Bill has been under consideration, this debate is not likely to terminate as speedily as we wish it to terminate. To ask us to remain silent while we are made the subject of electioneering attacks and of open misrepresentation, is to ask too much of human nature. We are prepared to help the Government to carry this Bill through.

Senator Lynch - We can carry it through without the honorable senator.

Senator MILLEN - I have made a very fair intimation to honorable senators who support the measure.

Senator Needham - And a very reasonable one.

Senator MILLEN - If we are prepared to curtail our remarks in order to assist the Government to pass the Bill, we should at least -be relieved from exhibitions such as that in which Senator Story has indulged.

Senator Story - It is because my remarks were true that the honorable senator did not like them.

Senator MILLEN - If Senator Story persists in his attitude it will be incumbent upon us to show the absolute falsity of his statements. But I do not wish to do that. If the honorable senator is as anxious to secure the passing of the Bill as he professes to be, he will cease from criticism- of that character. I wish now to suggest one reason why the Minister ought to recognise the necessity for standing firm, in his demand for a strip of country on either side of the proposed railway. It is obvious that if the country through which it will pass is to be occupied at all, it will be occupied by pastoralists. Now, it is impossible to have trucking stations every mile or so along this railway, and, therefore, it is necessary to reserve to the Commonwealth half-a-mile on either side of it, to enable stock to travel to the nearest trucking station. For that reason, I trust that, if the Minister will not accept the amendment, he will be adamant when dealing with the States in insisting that the condition which the amendment seeks to impose shall be complied with.

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