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Thursday, 28 October 1915

Mr HUGHES (West Sydney) (Prime Minister and Attorney-General) . - By leave of the House, I wish to state shortly the policy of the Government, and to announce the measures to be submitted to Parliament before we again adjourn for an extended period.

Leave granted.

Mr HUGHES - In the first place, let me declare clearly the policy of the Government with regard to the war. Ministers consider it vital that there shall be no departure from the policy laid down by the Fisher Administration. They are of opinion that the war should be prosecuted with the utmost vigour until a complete and final victory is assured, and will not consider any suggestion for a peace until that victory has been secured.

During the present sittings we shall ask Parliament to deal with an Iron Bounty Bill, whose provisions differ in some minor respects from the legislation on the subject already on the statute-book. Honorable members will be asked, also, to sanction the extension of the railway from Katherine River to Bitter Spring. A Bill to amend the Income Tax Act, which experience has shown to be necessary, will be introduced. Two months' Supply will be asked for, and there will be a Bill to authorize the borrowing locally of £10,000,000. There may be one other measure.

Mr Joseph Cook - What about the Murray "Waters Agreement?

Mr HUGHES - I thank the right honorable member for reminding me of it. A Bill will be introduced to give effect to the. Agreement, and, as doubt has been raised as to the liability of the Commonwealth under the Agreement, we propose to state in plain language that it shall not exceed £1,000,000. Nothing else need be said now concerning the measure, as it will merely ratify the Agreement on behalf of the Commonwealth.

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