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Thursday, 7 December 1905
Page: 6527

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister of External Affairs) . - What the honorable member for Parramatta has been pleased to call the stringency of this measure, has not been in any way modified. So far as it was stringent in the first instance, it remains so. It is less stringent than the original Act. But in another direction, the Committee at once took advantage of the happy suggestion made by the honorable member for North Sydney, and agreed to make a distinction in favour of persons of our own blood and race, as against the rest of the outside world.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Surely the Prime Minister will admit that that amounts to relaxing the stringency of the measure in that particular.

Mr DEAKIN - It does not relax it, nor is it intended to relax it, so far as the main purposes of the Bill are concerned. But it is intended to express our true sentiment towards our own kith and kin, and towards the Empire with which we are proud to be associated. I omitted to make an amendment which was suggested by the honorable member for Newcastle, extending the time within which questions could be put to immigrants. An opportunity will be presented during the transmission of the Bill to another place to reconsider our amendments and the general character of the Bill. I have to thank honorable members for having enabled us by sitting late tonight to conclude the consideration of the measure. The day is still young, and I hope we shall be able to devote a good deal more of It to still further useful work. I am particularly indebted to honorable members on this side of the Chamber for having so far sacrificed their convenience, and I am obliged to honorable members of the Opposition, who appear now to have recovered their urbanity.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

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