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Thursday, 11 December 1930

Senator RAE - The Leader of the Opposition said, a little while ago, that the honorable member for the Northern Territory was the best authority in this Parliament upon the conditions in that part of Australia. What more undemocratic proposal could be made than that these hardy pioneers should be deprived of . the only direct means they are ever likely to have to state their most pressing needs or grievances?

Senator Herbert Hays - They have their federal member in another place.

SenatorRAE. - If he were to travel only once a year through his electoral division, he would spend the whole of the allowance which he receives.

Senator Herbert Hays - He knows the country and the people.

Senator RAE - It is impossible for any man to be fully conversant with the needs of the people scattered over such a vast area. The members of an advisory council would havefirst-hand and an intimate knowledge of all that was happening in their respective areas. Consequently they would be able to give the Administrator sound advice, based on local knowledge. The alternative is to make the Administrator a despot within the ambit of his power, because he will have noopportunity to come directly in contact with the people and become acquainted with their needs. If this proposal is defeated, the Senate will be doing an injustice to those settlers whom Senator Lynch so eloquently described as the real men in the Northern Territory. I agree that they deserve all the assistance which we can give to them.

Progress reported.


Motion (by Senator Daly) proposed -

That Standing Order No. 68 be suspended until the 18th December instant for the purpose of enabling new business to be taken after half-past ten o'clock at night.

Senator Sir George Pearce - I understood that the usual procedure was to give notice of a motion to suspend Standing Order No. 68, or to obtain leave of the Senate.

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