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Friday, 15 December 1905

Mr SPEAKER - The debate is somewhat irregular. The motion before the Chair is that the Standing Orders be suspended. On the motion for the adoption of the report, such remarks as have been made by the last two honorable members who have spoken will be in order.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion (by Mr. Groom) proposed -

That the report be adopted.

Mr. KELLY(Wentworth). - There is much to be said in favour of the view of the honorable member for New England. I think that when the Government recognise how many propositions they have accepted, which cannot but have a result beneficial to Members of Parliament, whilst they are detrimental to the public interest, they will be anxious to show by their administration that they do not regard Members Of Parliament as in any way more deserving of consideration at the hands of the Commonwealth than ordinary citizens.

Sir William Lyne - Does not the amendment just carried in Committee apply to every candidate as well as to Members of Parliament"?

Mr KELLY - But we all know that a candidate is a potential member of Parliament.. Even the honorable gentleman in his Jess confident moments will recognise that.

Mr Frazer - Does the provision not apply to the carriage of newspapers now ?

Mr KELLY - Not to the same degree, as I have shown. I do not wish to debate that question, but to suggest to the Government the propriety of following their action to its logical conclusion, however disastrous the consequences may be to the taxpayers. Are only candidates for seats in this Parliament to receive these extraordinary advantages? Should not all candidates at elections - municipal, State, and Commonwealth - get ,the same advantage under this Bill ? We are told that because honorable members' speeches and manifestoes are educational in their effect they are to get this exceptional treatment-. Are not all speeches delivered at municipal and State elections equally educational in their effect, and, if so, will not the Government carry out this project to its logical conclusion? Again, if the advertisements, of candidates for Federal honours are held to be educational in their effect, why should not the advertisements of any member of the community be also carried at the same extraordinarily cheap rates? I would suggest to the Government that if they do not wish to be held guilty by the people at large of feathering the nest of present or potential members of the House, they will be compelled to follow out their action to its logical conclusion, however extensive the consequences may be.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report adopted.

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