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Wednesday, 13 December 1911

Senator HENDERSON (Western Australia) . - I am very pleased tint the question of the Northern Territory has been raised, because I am anxious that as many members of Parliament as possible should take part in the proposed trip. If I am well at the time, I shall take advantage of the opportunity to travel to gain information.

Senator Fraser - Keep your mind open when you are in the Northern Territory.

Senator HENDERSON - I always da In my opinion, the route to be taken by the parliamentary party to the Northern Territory should be considerably deviated from that suggested by Senator St. Ledger. I think that the proper course would be for the party to proceed to Port Darwin via Western Australia, so that those who come here from time to time to legislate may know something of Australia. Senator Stewart, and several other senators who talk on Australian subjects, know so little about Australia that the value of their remarks seems to be absolutely nil. If, for instance, Senator Stewart were taken from Melbourne to Port Darwin into the Northern Territory, he would see what Australia really is. The only knowledge which he has of Australia at present is gained from the progress which he makes from time to time between Melbourne and Queensland. It is advisable, therefore, that the Government should make such arrangements as will afford to members of Parliament who are absolutely ignorant of a great deal of the territory of Australia an opportunity of seeing that part which is so closely connected with the Northern Territory. It must do a considerable amount of good in many directions. It will give some honorable senators a knowledge which they do not possess. There are several of us who, has ing travelled round the continent, know exactly what we mean when we speak of it; but there are others who have no knowledge of the surrounding country. It would, I think, be a very great benefit to members of the Senate if they had an opportunity of proceeding by a route that would permit them to see thousands of miles of country of which they know absolutely nothing, and whose potentialities are quite unquestionable. On our return to the Senate, we would know what we were talking about, and would not make, for instance, the very glaring mistake which Senator Stewart made to-day in reference to the land question, which Senator Vardon has pointed out so clearly. It has shown conclusively to the honorable senator, as to all others, that there are many things which he has yet to learn

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