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Thursday, 5 July 1906

Mr CARPENTER (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I do not know. I am asking honorable members not to hurriedly pass a motion which may bring us into conflict with another nation.

Mr Henry Willis - Has not the honorable member heard of the slaughter of innocent men and women that has been going on?

Mr CARPENTER - I have heard of a good deal of that kind of thing; but I am sure that the honorable member does not want to do anything that would arouse the resentment of the Russian nation.

Mr Henry Willis - I do not care a jot for the resentment of the Russian nation.

Mr CARPENTER - I am anxious that we shall not in this broad way express an opinion which mav be misinterpreted and regarded as* offensive. If the motion had merely expressed regret at the outrages that have been, committed against the Jews, for instance; we should have known what to do. Even such a motion might have been open to objection. T do not think that the honorable member for Bass full v realizes the extent to which we should be going in passing a resolution which, might arouse the resentment of a people with whom we have no Quarrel . and with whom we want none.

Mr Storrer - The motion would not lead to any quarrel.

Mr CARPENTER - The motion, might be misinterpreted in such a way as to lead to complications of which the honorable member cannot even dream, and unless it is couched in somewhat more specific terms I cannot support it. I have every sympathy with the victims of the whole of the outrages, but I do not think that we should practically say that we hope that the law of Russia, which has proved too weak to prevent such outrages', should be strengthened. I am glad to see the outbreak of a new spirit in Russia, and to notice that the students and more educated classes are taking up the work of reforming what I be,lieve to be a corrupt system of government. The motion would immediately project us into the political arena of Russia, and I think that we should hesitate before we vote for it.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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