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Thursday, 26 July 1906

Mr LONSDALE (New England) . - I should not have risen 'but for the remarks of the honorable member for Darwin, whose statements were sufficient to condemn his arguments. The House is entitled to the fullest information on this subject, and if I had felt doubtful of the wisdom of my proposition, the speech of the honorable member for Darwin would have convinced me that my action was the right one. What I have to say in this House I am prepared to say to any one. It is known that I have not moved the motion from any wrong motive. I ask for the information so that it may guide honorable members in dealing with future motions for the appointment of Select Committees and Royal Commissions. I admit that those who have been members of such bodies have" made great sacrifices', and the nature of those sacrifices will, as far as possible, be shown in the return. Many honorable members have given the whole of a recess and other spare time to the work of Commissions, and have had very arduous employment.

Mr Fisher - What the honorable member aims at is to secure economy.

Mr LONSDALE - Yes, and to prevent the increase of expenditure in this direction. A Commission or Select Committee should not be appointed to inquire into every trivial matter. I have been ready to accept any amendments which would cause the return to be more complete or clearer, and would prevent invidious distinctions. The remarks of the honorable member for Darwin regarding myself I treat with the utmost contempt.

Amendment agreed to.

Question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Resolved -

That there be laid upon the table of the House a return showing -

1.   The number of Royal Commissions ap pointed during this and the preceding Parliament ?

2.   What are the names and subjects of such

Commissions, and by which Administration they were appointed ?

3.   What are the names of movers and seconders ?

4.   What are the names of members composing them, and which of the States do such members represent ?

5.   What is the total cost of each Commission, giving details as to fees, personal expenses, printing, and other matters?

6.   What is the total amount paid to, and what is the number of the attendances of, each member, and also the number of days each member was absent from his home, for which travelling expenses were received?

7.   What is the aggregate cost of the whole?

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