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Wednesday, 30 October 1912

Senator VARDON - I was going to say that the Commission was not a one-sided one. It did not represent one party, but all parties in the Commonwealth Parliament, and all of the States. The members brought up a unanimous report, recommending that £900,000 should be paid to Tasmania; and, that being so, I am at a loss to understand why the Government should have proposed a compromise in the matter. It certainly cannot be owing to shortness of funds, because we know that their expenditure in many directions has been exceedingly lavish.

Senator de Largie - They did not wish to be considered extravagant; and the Opposition are always charging them with extravagance.

Senator VARDON - Senator de Largie will, I am sure, admit that we do not say anything of that kind without good rea son. In this matter I am prepared to stand by the unanimous report of the Royal Commission. I think that, seeing that they made an exhaustive inquiry into the subject, and every member of the Commission signed the report, their recommendation should be honoured in full. I am prepared to so honour it. I can claim no special knowledge of the details of this matter; but when I find a Royal Commission has done its work as it seems to me the Royal Commission inquiring into this subject did, and its report is presented without dissent from any member of it, I feel bound to say that its report should be honoured. I have only to add that I shall support the second reading of the Bill; and if in Committee Senator O'Keefe submits the request of which he has given notice, I shall be prepared to stand by him.

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