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Wednesday, 28 May 1930

Senator DUNN (New South Wales) . - I direct the attention of the Leader of the Senate (Senator Daly) to the following report which appeared in a Sydney newspaper on the 26th instant : -


Enthusiastic Meeting at Perth.

Perth, Sunday.

A campaign for the secession of Western Australia from the Commonwealth was initiated before a packed and enthusiastic audience in the Burt Memorial Hall on Friday night.

At the conclusion of a lecture by Mr. A. Lovekin,M.L.C, the following resolution was moved by Mr. R.S. Sampson, M.L.A., arid seconded by Mr. H. A. Griffiths, M.L.A. : - "This public meeting of citizens of Western Australia pledges itself to support a movement for the creation of a dominion of Western Australia, and urges the Government to give the people an opportunity of deciding the issue by referendum"

Owing to a clause prohibiting political meetings in the terms uponwhich the hall had been leased, the resolution could not be put, but the temperof the audience, which applauded every mention of secession, made it clear that it would have been carried by a large majority.

The Premier (Sir James Mitchell) was in the chair, and other Ministers, and the Lord Mayor (Alderman A. T. Franklin), Senator Lynch, and other Parliamentarians were on the platform.

The Premier said that federation was costing the State not less than £8,000,000 annually, which was a tremendous burden for 400,000 people.

Mr. Lovekinoutlined objections to federation, such as the extravagance of the Federal Government, the unfair incidence of the tariff on primary producing States, and duplication of services and officials. He declared that secession could be accomplished legally and constitutionally, and explained how, in his opinion, this could be done.

I now invite honorable senators to read the covering provisions of the Constitution Act -

Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth, under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established.

And whereas it is expedient to provide for the admission into the Commonwealth of other Australasian colonics and possessions of the Queen;

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: -

Section 3 reads -

It shall be lawful for the Queen, with the advice of the Privy Council, to declare by proclamation that, on and after a day therein appointed, not being later than one year after the passing of this act, the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, and also, if Her Majesty is satisfied that the people of Western Australia have agreed thereto, of Western Australia shall be united in a Federal Commonwealth under the name of the Commonwealth of Australia. But the Queen may, at any time after the proclamation, appoint a Governor-General for the Commonwealth.

We now have evidence of a movement in Western Australia having for its object the secession of that State from the Commonwealth.

Senator Sir George Pearce - What does the honorable senator propose to do about it?

Senator DUNN - I have reminded the Leader of the Opposition on other occasions that interjections are disorderly. When I was elected to the Senate a little over eight months ago, I took the following oath of allegiance to His Majesty, King George V, before the late Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, (Sir Adrian Knox) and Sir Isaac Isaacs: -

I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty, King George the Fifth, his heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.

If the people of Western Australia seriously cut the painter they will be guilty of an act of treason in every sense of the word.

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