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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<hansard xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="../../hansard.xsd" version="2.1" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<session.header>
<date>1905-08-23</date>
<parliament.no>2</parliament.no>
<session.no>2</session.no>
<period.no>0</period.no>
<chamber>REPS</chamber>
<page.no>1327</page.no>
<proof>0</proof>
</session.header>
<chamber.xscript>
<para class="block">House of Representatives </para>
<business.start>
<day.start>1905-08-23</day.start>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline>took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers. </para>
</business.start>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>PETITIONS</title>
<page.no>1327</page.no>
<type>petition</type>
</debateinfo>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. G.</inline>B. EDWARDS presented a petition from the Chamber of Manufactures, Sydney, against the provisions in the Trade Marks Bill relating to union labels. </para>
<para>Petition received and read. </para>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. DEAKIN</inline>presented a petition from certain residents of Appin, praying that stringent legislation be enacted to prevent the importation of opium for smoking purposes into the Commonwealth. </para>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. BATCHELOR</inline>presented a similar petition from certain residents of South Australia. </para>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Sir LANGDON</inline>BONYTHON presented three similar petitions. </para>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. GLYNN</inline>presented two similar petitions. </para>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. HUTCHISON</inline>presented three similar petitions. </para>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. POYNTON</inline>presented forty one similar petitions. </para>
<para>Petitions received. </para>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>1327</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>MANUFACTURE OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION</title>
<page.no>1327</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1327</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K7U</name.id>
<electorate>CORIO, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CROUCH, Richard</name>
<name role="display">Mr CROUCH</name>
</talker>
<para>- Yesterday I asked the Minister representing, the Minister of Defence a question with regard to the manufacture of guns, small arms, and cordite within the Commonwealth. The Minister promised that information would be afforded later on. I wish to know whether he can give me an answer to-day ? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1327</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KDR</name.id>
<electorate>RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>Protectionist</party>
<role>Vice-President of the Executive Council</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">EWING, Thomas</name>
<name role="display">Mr EWING</name>
</talker>
<para>- I regret to say that I cannot give the honorable and learned member a reply to-day. Upon consideration, the matter has disclosed some amount of difficulty, and it is hot possible to furnish a reply at a day&#39;s notice. The honorable and learned member will be fortunate if the Minister of Defence is able to furnish a reply within a week - I do not think it can be done within that time. </para>
</talk.start>
<para class="block">RETIRING GRATUITIES. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KDD</name.id>
<electorate>SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">EDWARDS, George</name>
<name role="display">Mr G B EDWARDS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I wish to ask the Treasurer whether he has ascertained that he was correct in stating last week that the case of Messrs. Bartholomew and Frizzell, in which claims were made for retiring gratuities, had been settled by him? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KFJ</name.id>
<electorate>SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA</electorate>
<party>Protectionist</party>
<role>Treasurer</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">FORREST, John</name>
<name role="display">Sir JOHN FORREST</name>
</talker>
<para>- I have not yet ascertained, but I shall do so to-morrow. </para>
</talk.start>
<para class="block">MILITARY CLERKS. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4I</name.id>
<electorate>BOURKE, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party>PROT</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr HUME COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>asked the AttorneyGeneral, <inline font-style="italic">upon notice -</inline></para>
</talk.start>
<para>Are the military clerics who were in the employment of any State at the establishment of the Commonwealth, eligible for appointment to a position in the corresponding division ofthe Public Service of the Commonwealth under section 33 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act? </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
<electorate>BALLAARAT, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party>Protectionist</party>
<role>Minister for External Affairs</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEAKIN</name>
</talker>
<para>- On behalf of the AttorneyGeneral, I have to inform the honorable member - </para>
</talk.start>
<para>This question involves the consideration of the Public Service Acts and the Defence Acts of each of the States prior to Federation, as well as the Commonwealth Public Service and Defence Acts. It also necessitates precise information as to the status of the military clerks referred to under State laws prior to the Defence Departments being transferred. Inquiries are now being made for the purpose of ascertaining the position, anil if the honorable member will be good enough to further postpone his question an answer will be given as soon as possible. </para>
<para class="block">WORK PERFORMED FOR STATES GOVERNMENTS. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX9</name.id>
<electorate>NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WATKINS, David</name>
<name role="display">Mr WATKINS</name>
</talker>
<para>asked the PostmasterGeneral, <inline font-style="italic">upon notice -</inline></para>
</talk.start>
<para>Whether he will approach the various State Governments with a view to recompensing those officers of his Department who have performed State work referred to in a question asked by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Watkins</inline> yesterday ? </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JX7</name.id>
<electorate>EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>Protectionist</party>
<role>Postmaster-General</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CHAPMAN, Austin</name>
<name role="display">Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN</name>
</talker>
<para>- In reply to the honorable member - </para>
</talk.start>
<para>This is one of the questions which was discussed at the Conference between the Commonwealth and State Ministers held in Hobart in February last; no decision was, however, arrived at, and the matter is still under consideration. </para>
<para>SPECIAL ADJOURNMENT. </para>
<para>Motion (by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Deakin)</inline> proposed - </para>
<para>That the House, at its rising, adjourn until a quarter-past three o&#39;clock to-morrow. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1328</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K8L</name.id>
<electorate>Barrier</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">THOMAS, Josiah</name>
<name role="display">Mr THOMAS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I have no objection to the motion, but I should like to know whether the time lost owing to our meeting at a later hour than usual will be deducted from that usually devoted to the consideration of private business. I think it is only fair that any deficiency should be made good, say, after the adjournment for tea. The first three motions on the noticepaper are of extreme importance, and I think that my suggestion might fairly be adopted. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. DEAKIN</inline>(Ballarat- Minister of External Affairs). -If the time at our disposal to-morrow afternoon proves insufficient for the first motion, I shall take care that an extra three-quarters of an hour is allowed for further discussion at some time during the evening. </para>
<para class="block">Question resolved in the affirmative. </para>
<para class="block">SUPPLY BILL (No. 2). </para>
<para>Attorney-General&#39;s Retainer from South Australian Government : Rifle Ranges at Toowong and Sandgate: Post-offices at Drysdale and Geelong : Importation of Opium : Telegraph Employees : Public Service Classification : Divisional Returning Officers : Treasurer&#39;s Advance Account. </para>
<para class="italic">
<inline font-style="italic">In Committee of Supply:</inline>
</para>
<para class="block">
<inline font-weight="bold">Sir JOHN</inline>FORREST (Swan- Treasurer). - I move - </para>
<para>That a sum not exceeding &#163;363,283 be granted to His Majesty for or towards defraying the services of the year ending 30th June, 1906. </para>
<para class="block">The last Temporary Supply Bill, for the month of July, provided for &#163;418,751, made up of &#163;356,751 for ordinary votes, &#163;12,000 for refunds, and &#163;50,000 for the Treasurer&#39;s Advance Account. The present Bill provides for ordinary votes amounting to &#163;283,283, refunds amounting to &#163;10,000, and for &#163;70,000 for the Treasurer&#39;s Advance Account. Honorable members will notice that the sums appropriated towards the Treasurer&#39;s Advance Account in the last Supply Bill, and in the present measure, together represent a total of &#163;120,000. It is customary to provide on the Estimates for &#163;200,000 for the Treasurer&#39;s Advance for the year. It may strike honorable members that we are now asking for an excessive sum, but I would point out that &#163;50,000 isrequired for the purpose of making progress payments in connexion with new works and buildings which were commenced before the end of the last financial year, and are still being carried on, and &#163;25,000 for the construction and extension of telegraph and telephone lines, which are still in progress. Payments in connexion with the purchase of Defence material will absorb ^10,000, and a margin of only ,&#163;35,000 will be left until the Appropriation Bill is passed and the various votes are recouped. No provision is made in this Bill for the payment of any increases under the Public Service Classification Scheme. None of these will be paid until Parliament has authorized them, and that cannot be said to have been done until the Appropriation Bill is passed. I think that that is a reasonable and proper way of dealing with increases generally, whether under a classification scheme or otherwise. There is nothing in the Bill that calls for special comment, because it merely provides for the expenditure upon the public service in- accordance with the votes of last year. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>-! presume there will be no objection to this Bill. 1 accept the statement of the Treasurer that the Bill provides merely the necessary instalment for the ordinary expenditure of Government, and there being in it no special items of a debatable character, I know of no reason why it may not be allowed to pass. But I wish to take this opportunity to raise a question which concerns the Attorney-General chiefly, and I very much regret that that honorable and learned gentleman is not in the Chamber. That, however, is not my fault, as I sent him word by the Government whip that I proposed to raise this question. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Deakin</name>
</talker>
<para>- I think that the information has only just reached him. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>-The question to which I wish to draw attention is, as I view it, of very serious importance. affecting, as it does, the relation of the AttorneyGeneral to the judicial powers of the States and the Commonwealth. As honorable members know, the South Australian <inline font-style="italic">Hansard</inline> is not the equal of our publication, because the reports of debates have to filter through the newspaper offices before becoming .part of the permanent record. I have tried to get the latest issue of the South Australian <inline font-style="italic">Hansard,</inline> recording certain statements which were made in the House 6f Assembly there, but as it has not yet arrived, I will quote a newspaper report - I think of the Adelaide <inline font-style="italic">Advertiser</inline> - which, J believe, generally gives an even better account of the business transacted in ;the local Legislature than does the official record. At any rate, I think that the report in this newspaper is substantially correct. The statements to which I wish to draw attention read as follow : - </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<quote>
<para>In the House of Assembly on. Thursday afternoon <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. McDonald</inline> asked if the Treasurer could give the House any information as to the present position of the Murray waters question. <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Peake,</inline> in reply, said the Government were trying to get that matter pushed on as fast as possible. The small retainer paid to <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Isaacs</inline> would expire within a day or two, and he had authorized the continuance of his retainer. With the object of getting the matter dealt with as soon as possible, he had arranged to hold a consultation with <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Glynn</inline> on Monday morning. In the meantime <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Glynn</inline> had informed him that he had consulted counsel in Melbourne, and he was hoping that <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Glynn</inline> would be in a position to advise him definitely as to when the case would be taken, up. It was thought the High Court would before long be sitting in Adelaide, arid he would like to arrange, if possible, that the case should be taken then. . . . <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Rounsevel</inline> asked on whose advice <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Peake</inline> was acting as to the South Australian riparian rights at the present time - that of <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Glynn, Sir Josiah</inline> Symon, or <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Isaacs. Mr. Peake</inline> said the position was that <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Glynn</inline> was acting as solicitor for the Government, and <inline font-weight="bold">Sir Josiah</inline> Symon and <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Isaacs,</inline> King&#39;s counsel, had been retained by the Government. The three lawyers named were acting in conjunction. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">My point is that the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth ought not to <inline font-style="italic">bq</inline> retained by a State Government on any such important matter as this. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L1D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr Henry Willis</name>
</talker>
<para>- Against the Commonwealth Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- Not necessarily, but possibly, against the Commonwealth Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JOC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">BATCHELOR, Egerton</name>
<name role="display">Mr Batchelor</name>
</talker>
<para>- The Attorney-General of the late Government was similarly retained. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- That does not alter my view of the case. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JOC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">BATCHELOR, Egerton</name>
<name role="display">Mr Batchelor</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why. did not the honorable member raise the question then? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1329</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- I expected some such objection as that from honorable members seated on the corner benches, and it has come. Surely the AttorneyGeneral might have been left to make that kind of apology. Whoever may be involved, my view of the case is the same. My point is that the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth ought not to be in a position in which his functions as the representative of the Commonwealth Government may conflict with obligations which he has undertaken to a State Government. There are innumerable possibilities for conflict arising in connexion with this very thorny question of the control of navigation and irrigation,. and I submit that, in regard to it, the Attorney-General should not hold his present anomalous position. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1330</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JOC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">BATCHELOR, Egerton</name>
<name role="display">Mr Batchelor</name>
</talker>
<para>- lt is not a question arising between a State and the Commonwealth. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1330</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- The question of the control of rivers and water rights is intimately connected with the question of Inter-State commerce, and to show how thorny it is, and how very readily points of conflict may arise between the Commonwealth and States authorities, I should like to direct the attention of the House to a short statement in Quick and Garran&#39;s <inline font-style="italic">Annotated Constitution.</inline> Speaking of the concurrent powers of the States, they say - </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<quote>
<para>The navigation power being part of the trade and commerce power, is not &#34;exclusively&#34; vested in the Parliament of the Commonwealth, and, therefore, the concurrent power of the States to deal with Inter-State navigation and with navigable waters will continue, subject to be ousted in part or in whole by Federal legislation. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">Later on, they say - </para>
<quote>
<para>A State may not only, in the absence of Federal legislation, improve the navigability of rivers, hut may even obstruct navigability. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">The trend of the statement there made is that in the absence df Federal legislation the States may take their own course with regard to the waters running through their territories. The only power that may say them nay is the power of the Commonwealth Government, interposing in the interests of unrestricted freedom of trade and commerce. The quotation continues - </para>
<quote>
<para>It would seem therefore that, in the absence of Federal legislation, the States may exercise concurrent control over all navigable waters within their jurisdiction; subject, of course, to: all the constitutional conditions, such as the prohibitions against interfering with freedom of trade and against discriminating against the citizens of other States by which the exercise of State power is controlled. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">The States having these large powers over their waterways, it is quite clear that we may at any time come into direct conflict with any of them in regard to the question of the navigability of the waterways, and also with regard to a possible interference with trade as between one State and another. As this Federal power stands thus related to the States, the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth ought to hold himself free to exercise it at any moment which may be necessary. In other words, he is the watchdog of the Commonwealth with regard to the question of Inter-State free dom of intercourse, and the preservation of the navigability of the waters of the various States. It is quite clear, however, that he cannot be our legal watchdog, and, at the same time, the legal watchdog of the South Australian Government. The old saying that no man can serve two masters applies in this case. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1330</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KLM</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MALONEY, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Maloney</name>
</talker>
<para>- Lawyers are an exception </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1330</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- I do not think that lawyers should be an exception in an important matter of this kind. It is quite clear that the Attorney-General cannot be for us against South Australia, and for South Australia against us at one and the same time, unless he has a dual personality like that of <inline font-weight="bold">Dr. Jekyll</inline> and <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Hyde.</inline> I know that at times lawyers do very strange things, but I think that we should keep the domains of these functions very clear, and should see that our law officers are in a condition of absolute independence. If the Attorney-General has advised the South. Australian Government on this matter, as I understand from the newspaper report hie has, the procedure laid down is that the honorable and learned member for Angas, a respected member of this House, is acting as solicitor for the South Australian Government in the case. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1330</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr Higgins</name>
</talker>
<para>- Is that proper ? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1330</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- I see a very great distinction between the position of the Attorney-General and that of a private member of this House. It might happen at a later stage that the honorable and learned member for Angas might be somewhat fettered in dealing with these questions when they come before the House for discussion and decision, but that is a very different thing from the position of the AttorneyGeneral, to whom is intrusted the . prime responsibility of safeguarding the judicial powers of the Commonwealth. Whether it is right or wrong, proper or improper, for a private member to be concerned in this matter has nothing to do with the point which I am discussing. If the Attorney-General has advised the South - Australian Government on the questions &#39; of the navigability of rivers and of water rights, as they affect South Australia, he ought not to continue to hold his present office in the Government, because he will not be in the independent position which he ought to occupy in dealing with conflicting rights should any question &#39;happen to arise respecting them. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="metadata">PAGE, James</name>
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<para>- Perhaps the honorable member would like to see the Attorney-General out of the Government? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<para>- I have not the slightest wish to see him out of the Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K99</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">JOHNSON, Elliot</name>
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<para>- Surely this is a legitimate point to raise. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<para>- It is a very strange thing that these actions are defended by members of the Labour Party. I admit that the caucus can do with impunity any kind of political wrong, so long as it is solid ; but if any set of men in creation should raise a matter of this sort it is those who are deriding me for my present effort to see that the question is set right. I am not going to labour the subject. I shall be very much interested in hearing, after I have sat down, the defence of the Attorney-General by those who are now interjecting. The honorable and learned member has bound himself by oath to guard the judicial power of the Commonwealth, and, therefore, he should not be retained by a Government whose interests may conflict at any given point of time with those of the Commonwealth. I remember a somewhat similar case in New South Wales, in which two members of the local Legislature, who are now Justices of the High Court, were involved. They had accepted retainers against the Railway Commissioners of New South Wales, and the New South Wales Legislative Assembly censured them for doing so in the severest terms that it could use. As a consequence, they resigned Ministerial positions to save the Government to which they belonged. This is a somewhat similar question. I submit that the Attorney-General ought to be able to tell the House that he is absolutely free and untrammelled in his office - which I venture to say he will have some difficulty in doing in view of the facts as we know them - or he should no longer retain his position as supreme guardian of the rights of the Commonwealth against the States. I have no word to say of the honorable and learned gentleman in his private relations. He is as free as any other member of the Chamber to conduct his private business in his own way, and no one Kas a right to cavil at him for pursuing his private avocations so long as they do not conflict with his public duties. In this case he appears to&#39; be exercising a dual function for two public bodies, the Parliament of a State, and the Parliament of the Common- wealth, and he cannot serve them both with independence and without limitations. I do not impugn his honour in any way. My own impression is that he is committing an error of judgment in accepting these retainers. I understand that he has not accepted a retainer since he assumed the position of Attorney-General. The newspaper statement is to the effect that his retainer will expire in a few days. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
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<para>- Has he not already relinquished his retainer? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- Not that I am aware of. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Deakin</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why should he? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<para>- If that is the view entertained by the Prime Minister, I shall, be glad to hear the reasons which he has to assign for it. I say that where the States are guaranteed such large powers of control in respect of the rivers of the Commonwealth, and where the Federal jurisdiction may, at any moment, clash with the State jurisdiction, the Attorney-General ought to be free from any State engagements in dealing with the question from a purely Federal stand-point. He cannot be said to be free so long as he is in the pay of a State Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="metadata">HUTCHISON, James</name>
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<para>- The honorable member did not discover that fact when <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon filled the office of AttorneyGeneral. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- What has that circumstance to do with the matter? The facts were only published in the newspapers last week. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
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<para>- They have been known for months. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<para>- I assure honorable members that the statement which I saw in the newspapers last week was the first intimation that I had of the facts, and I do not hesitate to say that if I had known that <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Svmon when Attorney-General, had been retained by the South Australian Government in such a matter, I should have instantly brought it under the notice of the House. If the honorable member for Hindmarsh and the Prime Minister have been cognizant of the facts they have failed in their duty by neglecting to bring them immediately before this Chamber. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1331</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">THOMAS, Josiah</name>
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<para>- Surely the right honorable member for East Sydney could not have failed in his duty. He knew the circumstances of the case when he was Prime Minister. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1332</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- May I say to the honorable member that I do not know what the right honorable member would or would not do. In this matter, fortunately, 1 am not like the honorable member .for the Barrier. I have not to consult the caucus before coming here. The moment that I saw this announcement in the newspapers I decided to bring the facts before the House, and, in the discharge of what I conceive to be an obligation upon my part, I am making, these remarks. I should be very glad indeed to hear the AttorneyGeneral&#39;s statement upon this matter. If he can show that there is no possibility of a conflict arising between his duty to the South Australian Government - a duty for which he is being paid - and his duty as the defender and guardian of the judicial power of the Commonwealth. I shall have no more to say upon this subject. In my judgment, however, he cannot simultaneously accept payment from a State Government and from the Federal authorities, and still retain his independence absolutely. I understand that the honorable and learned gentleman is being instructed in this matter by the honorable and learned member for Angas. It is not difficult to imagine the Attorney-General having this same matter presented to him subsequently by our own Solicitor-G&#39;eneral, and I venture to say that, on the presentation of the case by the honorable and learned member for Angas, and its presentation by the SolicitorGeneral of the Commonwealth, a very different opinion might be pronounced. That is the fact which we have to face. After being advised by the honorable and learned member for Angas, and after having furnished an opinion to the South Australian Government upon this matter, the identical question may again come before the Attorney-General on the presentation of a case by the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth, and the honorable and learned gentleman will then be confronted with the statement which he has previously made to the South Australian Government, and for which he has received their pay. I say that the Attorney-General is paid a salary by the Commonwealth for the especial purpose of keeping him free and untrammelled from retainers from any other quarter. I submit that, so long as he holds his position as Attorney-General, he has no right to be in the pay of any State Government, or to give them any legal opinions whatever. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1332</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="metadata">POYNTON, Alexander</name>
<name role="display">Mr Poynton</name>
</talker>
<para>- The honorable member&#39;s remarks are very severe upon <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1332</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<para>- I cannot help who they are severe upon. I regret it if they are. The honorable member might be at a little less trouble concerning <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon. This is not a question as to who is affected. I believe that a great principle is at stake in this seemingly simple matter, and, believing that, I take this opportunity of bringing it before the House at the earliest possible moment. I understand that the Prime Minister knows all about the case. At any rate, from his interjection, I opine that he is entirely in accord with the AttorneyGeneral in this matter, and sees no reason why that honorable and learned gentleman should separate himself from the South Australian Government. In other words, he sees no reason why the AttorneyGeneral should not occupy the dual position of adviser to the South Australian and the Federal Governments upon a matter which at any moment may bring his duties as between that State and the Commonwealth into conflict. In bringing this question under the notice of honorable members, I feel that I am discharging a simple duty - a duty in the interests of the purity of the administration of the judicial powers of the Commonwealth. I hope that we in this House shall always be sensitive upon matters which relate to the purity of the administration of justice. I wish that the Attorney-General himself had been present, and I shall be glad indeed to hear what he has to say upon this important matter.. I should be pleased to learn that he has decided not to accept any other retainer from the South Australian Government. If that were the case, I should have no more to say upon the subject. The retainer which he at present enjoys is, I understand, just about to run out, and if he declares that he will accept no further retainer from that Government I shall be satisfied. It seems that he accepted this retainer before he became AttorneyGeneral. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1332</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr Henry Willis</name>
</talker>
<para>- But he is still acting for the South Australian Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1332</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<para>- My own impression is that the moment he became AttorneyGeneral he ought to have ceased to have the slightest connexion with the South Australian Government upon this matter. However, he has chosen to take another course, and I can only leave the matter to the judgment of the House. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. DEAKIN</inline>(Ballarat - Minister of External Affairs). - My own knowledge of this matter is not absolutely complete, but I suppose that, like the bulk of newspaper readers, I have been acquainted for more than a year with the fact that <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon and the honorable and learned member for Angas, as well as my learned colleague, have been retained by the South Australian Government in connexion with the claim of that State to the use of the Murray waters. Of course, my honorable friend, the deputyleader of the Opposition, is not to be censured for using terms, in the course of his argument, which occasionally apply to a case at law, which occasionally apply to the offering of an opinion, which sometimes apply to the action of the AttorneyGeneral as Attorney-General, and at other times to him as a member of this House who happens to practise at the Bar. I do not pause to disentangle these matters,although they are capable of conveying false impressions, unless they are discriminated. The retainer from the South Australian Government, I understand, was not given to the Attorney-General as a preliminary to any judicial proceeding. No judicial proceeding has commenced, and no judicial proceeding need follow. That retainer is one to furnish an opinion to the State of South Australia in relation to its claims to the waters of the Murray as against the States of New South Wales and Victoria. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<para>- That is a question in which the Federal jurisdiction may be involved at any moment. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
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<para>- I will come to that matter in an instant. In the first place, these retainers were given, I think, before <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon accepted office. I do not think that they were granted during the time that he held office as AttorneyGeneral. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr McWilliams</name>
</talker>
<para>- He should have retired too. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- Perhaps those who do not clearly understand what is the nature of the facts or the duty to be performed should not be so ready to pass judgment. They would not venture to do so if they were summoned to act as jurors, and were called upon to decide as to the life or reputation of a fellow citizen. Because they are members of </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para class="block">Parliament they are not relieved of their obligations in relation to another member of Parliament, even if they are politically opposed to him. Before passing judgment they ought at least to know the facts. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- No one has impugned the honour of the Attorney-General. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEAKIN</name>
</talker>
<para>- Then what do the remarks of the honorable member mean ? I communicatedwith the Attorney-General the moment the honorable member for Parramatta rose to address the Committee, and informed him of the fact that this matter was about to be brought forward. He stated in reply that he would be here as soon as the engagement upon which he had entered would permit. I would point out that the three learned members to whom I have referred are engaged in framing an opinion upon behalf of a State with regard to its riparian rights as contrasted with the rights of other States. I only know in a general way to what that opinion relates. It may be framed in such a way as to render any consideration of the relations of the Commonwealth to the States almost impossible. It may be framed in such a way as to render a consideration of Commonwealth rights highly improbable, or it may be framed in such a way as to involve them. But the fact remains - a fact to which I should not have called attention had it not been already referred to - that the Attorney-General of thelate Government during the whole period that he occupied that office, remained one of the advisers of the South Australian Government on this matter without recognising that, in so doing, he was guilty of any dereliction of duty. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L1D</name.id>
<electorate />
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<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr Henry Willis</name>
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<para>- He should have resigned. If Parliament had been sitting he would have been compelled to do so. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
<electorate />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEAKIN</name>
</talker>
<para>- As I have already said, I deprecate the judgment of the honorable member upon the late Attorney-General as not being justified by the knowledge which he possesses. If an opinion is asked upon a question of riparian rights- </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- I have passed no judgment. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1333</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEAKIN</name>
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<para>- But judgment has been passed by those all round the honorable member. If an opinion has been asked by the South Australian Government, not in relation to any case, but merely as a piece of legal advice, it need not involve any consideration of the rights of the Commonwealth, and if it does not, nobody can suggest that any of these three honorable gentlemen have taken a course which is not perfectly open to all of us. The honorable member for Parramatta is not capable of deciding. I am not capable of deciding, nor is any one, except the three gentlemen themselves. I am perfectly sure thatif the present Attorney-General or the late occupant of that officehad found in the course of giving an opinion to the South Australian Government that they were in any way hampering their absolute freedom of action in regard to the Commonwealth they would at once have ceased to advise that State or to hold a retainer upon its behalf. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- It would have been a different thing if they had accepted a brief. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- Exactly. But whether such a point has arisen we cannot decide. The question of Commonwealth rights may never be raised1, and under such circumstances it would be preposterous to say that, in a dispute between different States, any honorable member is not justified in advising a State Government upon its rights just as much as he is warranted in advising a private client upon a private question. The only objection that can be urged by any honorable member who criticises their action is that possibly in some unknown way the rights of the Commonwealth may be prejudicially involved, and that the AttorneyGeneral may then conceivably be prevented from taking that complete view of Commonwealth interests which he otherwise would do. I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that under such circumstances both thepresent AttorneyGeneral and the late Attorney-General would at once have placed their duty to the Commonwealth before that of any client, even if that client happened to be a State Government. In these circumstances thematter requires no argument upon my part. Every member of this House, except one or two, must have been aware that the gentlemen to whom I have referred were being consulted upon a matter of opinion - upon a very difficultquestion, and one involving a great many considerations of a strictly legal character - questions as between the States which require solution. Until it is shown insome way that the public duty qf these honorable members or any one of them clashes with his professional dutv to his client, this debate is quite beside the mark. When that posi tion arises it will not be necessary for anybody to call attention to it. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- But if it did arise would it be advisable for the AttorneyGeneral to be mixed up in it? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- It would be perfectly immaterial. He is merely asked to give an opinion. If he finds that he is called upon to deal with the rights of the Commonwealth it will be an easy matter for him to refrain from offering that opinion. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- An opinion which he is paid to give? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- He accepted this retainer long before he became AttorneyGeneral. How can this House discuss the question on the simple assumptionthat, because the rights of certain States ate in dispute as between themselves, the rights of the Commonwealth are necessarily involved ? No one can say that, and until if can be said there can be no foundation for the argument that the rights of the Commonwealth are in any way involved. If the position of the Commonwealth is not affected, this discussion has.no meaning, and can have no issue. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- Is not the action of the Attorney-General tantamount to the acceptance of an office of profit under the Crown ? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- When any conflict does arise, we can rely on the AttorneyGeneral, or any other honorable member who is placed in a like position, dealing with it. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- It will then be too late to deal with it. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
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<para>- It is absurd to say that. It is not a judicial proceeding of which complaint is made, but the giving of art opinion, and it is open to the AttorneyGeneral to stop at any point he pleases. He may not believe that a Commonwealth issue will arise, and such an issue may never be raised. The whole matter is merely one of speculation. It would be absurd to call upon the Attorney-General to do, because of his office, what the late Attorney-General did not feel called upon to do ; both have as keen a sense of honour as any membersof the profession. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1334</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- We have just listened to an appeal made by one member of the legal profession in defence of another, but I hold that the honorable member for Parramatta has performed a patriotic duty in bringing this matter before the </para>
</talk.start>
<para class="block">House. I would inform those who have suggested that the leader of the Opposition, while holding office, once acted in a case against the State Government, that he did not do anything of the kind. When he held the brief, to which reference has been made, Be was not even a member of the Government. As a matter of fact, he refused to accept a retainer against the Railway Department, holding that, as a public man, his hands would be tied if he were to do so. As to the charge which has been made by the honorable member for Parramatta, are we to understand that because a distinguished lawyer occupies a distinguished office in the Government we are to consider that the allowance attaching to that office is not sufficiently lucrative, and that he&#39; is to be at liberty to accept briefs in cases against the Commonwealth . </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1335</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- No retainer was involved in the case in point. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1335</page.no>
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<para>- I contend_ that a public man&#39;s first duty is to his country. I am astounded that the Labour Party should defend the action of a distinguished lawyer who, while acting as Attorney-General of the Commonwealth, is prepared to advise a State in a matter involving Commonwealth issues. The Prime Minister said that the mere giving of an opinion was a different matter altogether from the acceptance of a brief against the Commonwealth; but I would point out that the opinion in question may lead the State to take action against the Commonwealth. In that event the AttorneyGeneral &#39; would have to advise the Commonwealth Government to adopt a certain course. The experience of all Parliaments is opposed to the action taken by the AttorneyGeneral. The late <inline font-weight="bold">Sir Henry</inline> Parkes laid it down, in connexion with a similar case that arose in the Parliament of New South Wales, that an honorable member&#39;s first concern should be to see to the right government of the country, and that a member of the legal profession, while acting as AttorneyGeneral or Solicitor-General in a State Government should not take part in any proceedings that might ultimately involve the Crown. The Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General of Great Britain are not even members of the Cabinet, <inline font-style="italic">yet</inline> they never think of accepting briefs in cases against the Crown. I do not take the view of the honorable member for Parramatta as to the position of the honorable and Seamed member for Angas. I believe that he is only in a degree less blameworthy than is the. Attorney-General. HHe has given an opinion regarding the position of South Australia in a. certain matter, and when that question comes before the Parliament he will be unable to deal with it as a representative of the people. If the position of AttorneyGeneral is- not sufficiently lucrative the honorable and learned member for Indi should resign it; if, on the other hand, it is, he should refuse to accept a retainer in any case against the Crown, and should decline to act in such a case even when, as a. private member, he had accepted a retainer: The Attorney-General may be called upon at any time to act in defence of the Government, or of any of the Departments of the Commonwealth, and his professional interests must not be allowed to clash with the discharge of his public duties. Why should&#39; an honorable member, simply because he is a prominent member of the legal, profession, be allowed in the. morning to advise a private client contemplating proceedings against the Crown, and in the afternoon to attend in this House and contend that a certain course of. action should be taken relating to those proceedings ? If honorable members are anxious to secure large incomes, they should resign on finding that their public duties interfere with the carrying out of that desire. It may be said that if that course of action were insisted upon, we should have but few lawyers of distinction in the House; but even if that were the result, the Commonwealth would not suffer great loss. I am satisfied, however, that members of the legal profession are as anxious to serve the public as are any other members of the community, and are prepared to make sacrifices in order to gratify their desire. Although it has been pleaded that the Attorney-General has done no more than give a certain opinion to the Government of South Australia, it must be recognised that that opinion may induce the State to take action against the Commonwealth. In that event, the AttorneyGeneral would have to defend the &#39;Commonwealth, and would find himself in a curious position. I trust that the Labour Party will accept my assurance that the leader of the Opposition has always refused to appear in cases involving the interests of the Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1335</page.no>
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<para>- The interests of the Commonwealth are not involved in the case in. point. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- They certainly are. The question of the navigability of the Murray may arise at any time, and in that event the Commonwealth would be at once involved in any proceedings by one State against another. We might have to take a stand in the interests of Victoria and New South Wales as against South Australia. The Attorney-General ofSouth Australia has said distinctly that he desires to bring a case before the High Court to determine questions affecting the waters of the Murray, and no doubt he will institute proceedings at no distant date. In that event, South Australia will defend what it believes to be its rights, as defined by the honorable and learned member for Angas, the Attorney-General, and the late Attorney-General of the Commonwealth. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- I see nothing criminal in that. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- I remember a time when the Labour Party had no very friendly feeling for the lawyers, but it appears that they have developed a desire to pose as the defenders of members of the legal profession in this House. We are not asking that the Attorney-General shall sacrifice his private practice while in office, but merely that he shall not act in any case that may involve Commonwealth issues. I heard of his position in this matter for the first time this morning, and although I spoke to eight or nine honorable members about it, I found that it had not previously come under their notice. We are assured, however, by the Prime Minister, that he knew of the position occupied by the honorable and learned member for Indi at least twelve months ago. All I can say is that we have brought the case before the House at the first opportunity, and have discharged what we conceive to be the true duty of an Opposition. Surely this is not a mad rush for the shekels on the part of the AttorneyGeneral? Surely he is not so strongly imbued with the desire to accumulate wealth that he is prepared on the one hand to be paid by the Commonwealth for the discharge of certain public duties, and on the other, to accept fees for giving opinions relating to a case that may involve Commonwealth issues. I have yet to learn that the private interests of an honorable member are to be considered paramount to his public duties. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>. - Honorable members of the Opposition appear to have for gotten an incident which took place in New South Wales, when the then Premier of the State acted for a ship-owner against the Newcastle Marine Board. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<para>- He did not. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- It is useless for the honorable member to deny my statement, because the matter was discussed in the State Parliament. I should not have referred to it, but that the name of the right honorable gentleman in question has been mentioned during this debate. It has been said that he would not be guilty of such an action as that for which the AttorneyGeneral has been blamed, but I know that his connexion with the Newcastle case was considered by some honorable members to be improper. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
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<para>- The honorable gentleman was amongst the number. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- Probably I was, but I do not think I said a word against him at the time. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- He threw up his brief. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- No. He appeared in Court, and it was in this way that the matter came under the notice of the State Parliament. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- Even if he did, that does not justify the action of the AttorneyGeneral in this case. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<para>- Certainly not. But I fail to see why it should be said or inferred that the leader of the Opposition would not do such a thing as the AttorneyGeneral and the late Attorney-General have done. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">THOMAS, Josiah</name>
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<para>- The case in which the. right honorable member for East Sydney appeared for a ship-owner was a very small one; it was only a two-guinea job. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- It was more than that. He appeared for a ship-owner in proceedings against the Newcastle Marine Board; and the point was raised that that Board was really in the same position as the Railways Commissioners of the State, and was part and parcel of the Government of New South Wales. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
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<para>- He should have stood out of it. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- Has the Attorney-General acted rightly? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1336</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- I think that he has acted rightly in that, as the Prime Minister has said, he need not, even at the last moment, do anything likely to clash with the interests of the Commonwealth. The question of navigation is the only one affecting the waters of the Murray that could give rise to issues affecting the Commonwealth. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- The fact is that the Attorney-General is under contract to the Federation, as well as to the State of South Australia. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIN</name.id>
<electorate />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LYNE, William</name>
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<para>- Only in the matter of giving opinions. Even if he gave an opinion against the Commonwealth, it would not be compulsory for him to take any action inimical to the interests of the Commonwealth. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- Does not the honorable gentleman know that the AttorneyGeneral has been retained to accept a brief for. the South Australian Government? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIN</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LYNE, William</name>
<name role="display">Sir WILLIAM LYNE</name>
</talker>
<para>- No. All that I know is that he has been retained to give a legal opinion. It is a singular thing that the honorable member for Parramatta did not raise any objection when the late Attorney-General adopted the same course. So far as I can see, no harm can result from the action taken by the honorable and learned member for Indi. The Opposition attack the AttorneyGeneral, forgetting that the right honorable member for East Sydney, whilst Premier of New South Wales, actually appeared in an action against the State. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. HIGGINS.</inline>(Northern Melbourne).I think that the honorable member for Parramatta has referred to a very important principle which cannot be too carefully observed ; but in this case the principle does not apply to the facts. It appears that before the Reid Government took office, <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Symon,</inline> the Attorney-General, and the honorable member for Angas, were retained by1 the South Australian Government, and were also asked to furnish them with an opinion upon the Murray waters question. Nothing, has been done by way of legal proceedings, but counsel have merely been asked to give their opinion. I understand that that opinion-, was prepared before the present Attorney-General took office. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wilks</name>
</talker>
<para>- It is not completed vet. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HIGGINS</name>
</talker>
<para>- It is not in writing, but I understand that for the last two months counsel have experienced difficulty in meeting to finally settle and commit their opinion to writing. Practically the whole of the work was done before the present Attorney-General took office. Honorable members may hardly know the practice, but I have no doubt that as soon as the Attor ney-General finds that there is the least conflict between the interests of the Federal power and those of the State of South Australia he will stop. That is our practice. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- I say that it ought not to be left to the judgment of the Attorney-General. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HIGGINS</name>
</talker>
<para>- We must leave such matters to the judgment of an honorable man. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- Not at all. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HIGGINS</name>
</talker>
<para>- At all events, I prefer to trust the experience and honour of the Attorney-General, who knows the facts, rather than the experience and honour of men who are not acquainted with the circumstances. I appreciate the jealousy of the honorable member for Parramatta in these matters. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Deakin</name>
</talker>
<para>- We all share it. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HIGGINS</name>
</talker>
<para>- And so do other honorable members, and we are glad to have the rule enforced. I do not believe, however, in raising such principles unless they apply to the facts. &#39; We have to remember that nothing was done in &#39;this case by way of legal proceedings, either before or since the present Government took&#39; office. Nothing has been done even in the way of writing an opinion, but the Attorney-General is perfectly entitled to write his opinion if he thinks fit. It is strictly allowable for counsel to give an opinion to one person and afterwards to be retained by another person. At the same time, so far as my experience has gone, counsel do not proceed that far. At one time, when I was a member of the Victorian Parliament, the proprietor of a certain industry consulted -me, and I advised him. I afterwards found that the matter was to be brought before the Victorian Parliament, and I said, &#34; I am your adviser, and I cannot speak or vote in Parliament upon that question.&#34; That is the action we take as a matter of course, without being told that we are making our private interests conflict with our public duties. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wilks</name>
</talker>
<para>- The honorable and learned member disfranchised his electors in that case. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1337</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HIGGINS</name>
</talker>
<para>- Yes, but I was not aware at the time that I began to advise the gentleman referred to that his case would come before Parliament. I agree thoroughly with the honorable member for Parramatta, that if public duties conflict with private duties the former should be regarded as supreme. If censure can be appropriately applied to the AttorneyGeneral, it can with equal force be directed to the honorable and learned member for Angas. He has a duty to honorable members of this House, and he has acted perfectly in accordance with the dictates of principle. Honorable members have no right to make a dig at the Government in this case. I am confident that if the Attorney-General finds that there is any conflict between his duty to the South Australian Government and to the Federal power, he will stop dead and say, &#34; I shall deal no more with South Australia.&#34; Questions constantly arise which call upon counsel to decide which of two conflicting retainers they shall accept, and the ordinary course is to accept the first one. In the case, however, of conflict between public duty and private duty, the former must, as I have said, be supreme. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. HENRY</inline>WILLIS (Robertson).I think that the honorable member for Parramatta should be complimented upon bringing this matter forward, because it is one of the greatest importance. I am convinced, from the remarks of the Prime Minister, that he regards the situation as very serious. The honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne stated that the position of the honorable andlearned member for Angas was analogous to that of the AttorneyGeneral, but I cannot agree with him, because the honorable and learned member for Angas isin the position of a solicitor acting for the South Australian Government, and stating a case to counsel for their opinion. Counsel have been retained for several months to give an opinion upon a question involving the interests of several States, and in which the Federal Government may have to interfere. The South Australian Government could not act on the opinion of counsel unless such counsel prepared a case prior to the institution of a suit. If the counsel at present retained were to resign their positions as advisers, no case could be filed. The Attorney-General says that he will continue to act under his retainer for several months to come. The honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne said something with regard to theresponsibility of counsel, but they have no responsibility. They act for fees, for the recovery of which they cannot sue. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1338</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KHC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HIGGINS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr Higgins</name>
</talker>
<para>- They can in Victoria. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1338</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L1D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HENRY WILLIS</name>
</talker>
<para>- In New South Walescounsel cannot suefor the recovery of their retainers. The Attorney-General says that he will earn the retainer, to which he will not be entitled until the full period covered by it has expired. He is acting for one of the States against other States in the matter of a distinctly Federal character, in whichhe Commonwealth authorities may be involved at any moment. He may, therefore, be called upon to act for the Commonwealth as well. It has been laid down by that great constitutional authority, <inline font-weight="bold">Sir Henry</inline> Parkes, that such a state of affairs should not exist in Australia. Justice <inline font-weight="bold">Sir Edmund</inline> Barton and <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Justice</inline> O&#39;Connor had to resign their Ministerial offices owing to their having accepted retainers in actions which were being brought against a State Government. We are on the eve of a crisis. Either the Attorney-General must resign from the Ministry, or the Ministry should go down. The members of the Opposition have a very serious responsibility cast upon them, namely, to direct a motion of censure against the present Government. We must bring the AttorneyGeneral to his feet on the floor of the House immediately, in order that he may make an explanation. The Minister has, however, said that he will put off his explanation until he has fulfilled a minor engagement in one of the Courts. This is flaunting the House. The Government would be treated very generously if they showed proper consideration to honorable members. Members sitting on this side of the House are perfectly free to support non-contentious measures, and they could render the Government independent of any clique or section of their own supporters. The Attorney-General, instead of fulfilling his duty to the whole Commonwealth and paying proper deference to this Parliament, the supreme Court of Australia, has stated that he will fulfil a minor engagement in possibly a lower Court in the State of Victoria before he meets us to answer a grave charge. The question involved is one which has caused the resignations of members in times gone by. We are told by members of the Labour Party that because <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Symon,</inline> when Attorney-General, held a retainer, the present Attorney-General is equally entitled to do so. I venture to say that if honorable members on this side of the House had been aware of the position occupied by <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Symon</inline> at the time that he was a memberof the Reid Government they would have taken action similar to that adopted on the present occasion. The fact that <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir JosiahSymonhas</inline> done wrong does not make the action of the Attorney-General right. The Minister of Trade and Customs positively admitted that the Attorney-General had accepted a brief, and he justified that acceptance because he said that a similar thing has been done in one of the States. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1339</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KZH</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ROBINSON, Arthur</name>
<name role="display">Mr Robinson</name>
</talker>
<para>- But he disapproved of it. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1339</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L1D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr HENRY WILLIS</name>
</talker>
<para>- Yes; he expressed disapproval of it in the local Parliament. Therefore the Government are condemned on their own admissions. I hope that the acting leader of the Opposition will take another course, and communicate with the leader of the Opposition, so that we may have the matter thrashed out, and the Attorney-General compelled to give a satisfactory explanation to the citizens of Australia. If such an explanation is not given, either he or the present Administration must go. That this House should be sent to the country is of very little importance compared with a matter of vital constitutional consequence such as we are now discussing. I hope that the leader of the Opposition will act definitely and firmly in this matter. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1339</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
<electorate>Franklin</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr McWILLIAMS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I cannot be accused of personal feeling in this matter. It is only to-day that I learned of the positions which the late AttorneyGeneral and the present Attorney-General occupy, and I make no distinction between them in regard to this case. It would have been infinitely better if <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon had retired from the case when accepting office as Attorney-General in the late Administration, and the honorable and learned member for Indi should, before becoming Attorney-General, have immediately freed himself from any legal entanglements which might afterwards make his position a difficult one. The Prime Minister censured honorable members on this side of the Chamber for taking up a case of which, he said, they knew nothing; but, after telling us that it was perfectly right for the Attorney-General to act as he is doing, he admitted that he knew nothing whatever of the case. The Attorney-General should be in his place to reply to the charge which has been made against him. As a member of a State Parliament, and as a member of the Commonwealth Parliament, I have objected to the legal members of a Government assuming a position different from that of non-legal members. Ever since I have been in this House I have seen that the legal members of Governments neglect their Ministerial and Parliamentary duties for their private business, and I understand that the honorable and learned member for Indi is not here to-day to reply to the charge which has been made against him, because he is conducting a private case in one of the minor courts of the State. When a legal gentleman accepts the office of law adviser to the Commonwealth of Australia, he should not allow his private business to interfere with the performance of his public duties to the extent to which some of our Attorneys-General have done. If there is one question which, more than another, is likely to bring theCommonwealth into conflict with the States, it is that affecting the control of the waters of the Murray River. More feeling has been created in connexion with that question amongst the people of the three States concerned than in connexion with any other public question that has arisen in Australia, and it is generally believed that one of the first contests between the Commonwealth and the States will arise in connexion therewith. The control of the navigation and the preservation of means of commerce on the Murray River is absolutely vested in the Commonwealth. South Australia&#39;s claim affects the control of the navigation of the Murray, and it will be almost impossible for the subject to be thrashed out: to the bitter end without the Commonwealth being brought in. I therefore ask the AttorneyGeneral to consider whether it would not be infinitely better for his own sake that he should be quite free from any entanglements created by the acceptance of a retainer from the State of South Australia. I should not have had any objection to his completing the work which he had in hand at the time of his acceptance of office, and to his placing before his employers the opinion for which he has been paid. But he should then have retired from his position as legal adviser of South Australia on all questions in regard to which the State and the Commonwealth may some day be in conflict. The less legal members of the House mix themselves up in questions which may afterwards cause conflict between the Commonwealth and the States the better it will be for the interests of the Commonwealth and for their own interests. I am not going to saya harsh word about the Attorney-General. If he had been a private friend of mine, and I had known that he was. interested in this case, I should have used all the personal influence I possessed to induce him to retire from his entanglement with the South Australian Government, and i hope that his good sense will yet lead him to do what he should have done immediately he accepted office as Attorney-General. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L1D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILLIS, Henry</name>
<name role="display">Mr Henry Willis</name>
</talker>
<para>- He must do it. The country will not stand this kind of thing. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Mcwilliams</name>
</talker>
<para>-If the facts of this case had been known a few months ago, and the late Attorney-General had been charged- </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KXO</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">PAGE, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr Page</name>
</talker>
<para>- The Prime Minister showed that the late Attorney-General is just as guilty as the present Attorney-General. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wilks</name>
</talker>
<para>- Then the honorable member and his party should have charged him with the offence. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KXO</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">PAGE, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr Page</name>
</talker>
<para>- We put him out of office directly we had the opportunity. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr McWILLIAMS</name>
</talker>
<para>- No one would have been more indignant, or would have said more about the injury likely to result to the public interest from the present state of things, than would honorable members who are now trying to turn this matter into ridicule, supposing the facts had been made known when the late AttorneyGeneral held office. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K8L</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">THOMAS, Josiah</name>
<name role="display">Mr Thomas</name>
</talker>
<para>- We would have supported the Opposition if they had raised this objection in regard to <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon&#39;s occupancy of the AttorneyGeneralship. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr McWILLIAMS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I have always understood that the honorable member&#39;s political standards are not very high, but if he publicly admits that he would have hounded down one man for doing that which he is prepared to defend in another, because the one was in opposition to him while the other is acting at his dictation, I make him a present of his morality. I hope that we shall not have much conduct like that in this House. The matter deserves serious consideration, and I hope that in the interests of good government the Attorney-General will retire from such professional engagements as may bring his duties to his clients into conflict with his duties as watch-dog of the rights of the Commonwealth. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4N</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">FISHER, Andrew</name>
<name role="display">Mr Fisher</name>
</talker>
<para>- Every one agrees as to that. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr McWILLIAMS</name>
</talker>
<para>- Every one does not agree as to that. Lawyer after lawyer has told us that the Attorney-General is doing what is perfectly right, although they are not acquainted with all the circumstances of the case. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4N</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">FISHER, Andrew</name>
<name role="display">Mr Fisher</name>
</talker>
<para>- He should not accept briefs the holding of which conflict with the performance of his duties as AttorneyGeneral. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUV</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCWILLIAMS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr McWILLIAMS</name>
</talker>
<para>- The Commonwealth will almost certainly be dragged into litigation in regard to the control of the navigation of the Murray, and all Attorneys-General should refuse to act as private advisers in cases in which they may have to act in a public capacity. I am sure that the deputy leader of the Labour Party must see that that position is the correct one. No Minister should, for Lis personal ends, perform duties which may be in conflict with his public duties. It is certain that, sooner or later, the Commonwealth will be involved in regard to the control of the navigation and preservation of the waters of the Murray, the question upon which the Attorney-General has given an opinion to the State of South Australia. I hope that honorable members generally will give the matter more serious consideration than some of them seem inclined to give to it, because, if ever the Commonwealth comes into conflict with the States, it will be very disadvantageous to us if the Attorney-General of the day - Whether <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon, the honorable and learned member for Indi, or any one else - has been acting on behalf of a State instead of on behalf of the Commonwealth, whose paid servant he is. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate>Werriwa</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr CONROY</name>
</talker>
<para>- The point raised by the honorable member for Parramatta is a perfectly plain one, though it is questionable whether it applies to the present state of affairs. He contends that it is inadvisable for an Attorney-General to act on behalf of any State or person when the opinion given in that relation may be brought into conflict with the opinion he may have to give to the Commonwealth on some future occasion. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- I say not merely that it is inadvisable, but that it is grossly wrong. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1340</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
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<para>- If at the time he undertook work for the State of South Australia the honorable and learned member for Indi knew that it would conflict with the performance of his duties as Attorney-General, the strictures which have been passed upon him would have been justified. What has happened is that he has been asked for his opinion. He has not been retained to fight for or against a particular view, but to state exactly what his opinion is in regard to certain questions, and in arriving at an opinion he must act as judicially as he can. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wilks</name>
</talker>
<para>- The Prime Minister said that he need not give his opinion. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
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<para>- I think that what the Prime Minister meant was that an opinion has not been given in connexion with a judicial proceeding. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MD</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">DEAKIN, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Deakin</name>
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<para>- The Attorney-General hai not given an opinion in connexion wilh any judicial proceeding. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
<role />
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- Judicial proceedings are evidently contemplated, because there is a proposed reference to the High Court. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
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<para>- The obtaining of legal opinions often prevents legal proceedings. A lawyer who is asked to state an opinion assumes, so far as he can, the functions of a Judge. He argues both sides of the question at issue, and endeavours to find out what opinion would be likely to be given by the Court before whom the question would be tried. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917</party>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
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<para>- We pay the AttorneyGeneral not to be a Judge for the State of South Australia, but&#39; to look after our interests. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr CONROY</name>
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<para>- Does not the honorable member see that he is now raising another point? He surely does not wish to di;bar barristers who are members of Parliament from taking legal work. In a case of this kind a barrister acts practically as an arbitrator. The honorable and learned member for Angas has .been referred to as the solicitor for South Australia; but I understand that he is really junior counsel in the matter. It has long been a practice, not only in the States, but in England, where a very high standard of action has been set up, that legal work of the kind under consideration is not within the ordinary scope of an advocate&#39;s duties. Before giving an opinion, counsel dissociates himself as much as possible from an advocate&#39;s methods, and assumes rather the judicial functions of an arbitrator. That is exactly the work which counsel is doing for the time being. I admit that in cases involving Commonwealth issues, if a member of this House who happens to be a barrister is called upon to give a legal opinion, it is desirable that he should refrain from doing so. But if a barrister refused to have anything to do with any case merely because somebody happened to mention it in Parliament, I do not know where the members of the legal profession would land themselves. The real point is that there is a substantial difference between a member of this Parliament - who happens to be a barrister - accepting outside work, and the Attorney-General, acting as the chief legal adviser of the Commonwealth, taking similar work. It appears, however, that the Attorney-General accepted this retainer, went into the case very thoroughly, and gave his opinion upon it, many months before there was any prospect whatever of his assuming Ministerial office. I understand from at least one honorable member who is engaged in this case, that the three gentlemen who have been retained by the South Australian Government have practically agreed upon their opinion, and that the whole reason why any charge can be laid against the present&#39; AttorneyGeneral is that they have not had sufficient time, apart from their parliamentary duties, to meet together and formally sign that opinion. Nevertheless, I think that the honorable member for Parramatta acted rightly in bringing the matter, under the notice of the House, because the position of Attorney-General should be very jealously guarded. We should guard against our chief legal adviser becoming engaged in a case in which there might be a conflict between, his duty to the Commonwealth and his duty as adviser to some other litigant. It seems to me, however, that the circumstances of this case are not such as to call for reprobation, unless we decide that no barrister who is a member of the Commonwealth Parliament should accept work of any kind whatever. I do not think that I need dwell any further upon the case. As far as I can see, no conflict of interests has arisen, and perhaps sufficient good hasbeen accomplished by calling attention to the matter. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1341</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KEA</name.id>
<electorate>Wentworth</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">KELLY, William</name>
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<para>- The honorable and learned member who has just re sumed his seat, like other members of the legal profession, is very anxious that no bar should be placed bv any action of this Committee in the way of their obtaining outside work. He stated that if the AttorneyGeneral had known at the time he was asked for this opinion that the Commonwealth, in which he occupies so high a position, might in time be brought into conflict with that sovereign power which was seeking his advice, all the strictures which have been passed upon him for the action which he has taken would have been thoroughly merited. That obviously refines his case down to a consideration df whether the Attorney-General did or did not know or think at the time he accepted1 his retainer that the Commonwealth would eventually be brought into conflict with the State of South Australia upon this matter. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1342</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KYT</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">KNOX, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Knox</name>
</talker>
<para>- No. The question is whether he thought that he would become AttorneyGeneral. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1342</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KEA</name.id>
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<para>- At any rate, the honorable and learned gentleman has not yet offered an opinion, so that it is not too late for him to withdraw from his anomalous position. In view of the most valuable assistance to this debate which the presence of the Attorney-General might give - for he alone can tell us his opinion as to whether or not the Commonwealth will be likely to be brought into conflict with the State of South Australia - it is infinitely to be regretted that .he &#39;has not seen fit to come within the precincts of the House to explain the exact position of this mattei. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1342</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>F4S</name.id>
<electorate>PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">COOK, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr JOSEPH COOK</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why should he do so? He is earning money. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1342</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KEA</name.id>
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<para>- I should be the last to suggest that the Attorney-General should take his place in this Chamber every afternoon of the week - I think that that would be too awful a sacrifice for him to make. But when the Committee are entering upon a debate of supreme constitutional importance, it is at &#39;least due to us that he should attend, and render all the help that he possibly can. Recently the House, and particularly the Opposition, have been subjected to a series of insults at the hands of the Government. Day after day we have seen the Chamber empty, whilst important public questions have been under discussion. That condition of affairs has been aggravated this afternoon by the absence of the Attorney-General. We are discussing his action, and under the circumstances it is only proper- that he should be present to explain it. For that reason I suggest most respectfully to the Prime Minister that this debate should be adjourned until such time as it will be convenient for the AttorneyGeneral to attend here for the purpose of rendering a true account of the circumstances under which he was asked to give this opinion, and of stating whether it will bind him in the future. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. WILKS</inline>(Dalley).- The honorable member for Wentworth has suggested that the debate should be adjourned. I pro pose to put that request in &#34;the form of a definite proposal, and I therefore move - </para>
<quote>
<para class="block">That the proposed vote be reduced by <inline font-style="italic">&#163;1.</inline></para>
</quote>
<para class="block">I think that will bring the AttorneyGeneral to the table. If ever a legislative body has been contemptuously treated upon a high constitutional question, certainly this Chamber has been so treated by the Attorney-General. The honorable and learned gentleman was apprised, by the Opposition whip at one o&#39;clock to-day of the intention of the honorable member for Parramatta to bring this matter forward, and, according to the Prime Minister, he was again notified when the deputy leader of the Opposition rose to speak. His reply was that he was engaged in Court practice. Surely that is evidence that a high and distinguished lawyer regards his private practice - his own interests - as of paramount importance. My proposal will test not only the feeling of the Committee, but also that of the Labour Party. For years past that party has been preaching the gospel of one man one billet ; but to-day we find them defending the lawyers. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1342</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
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<party />
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<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr Lonsdale</name>
</talker>
<para>- Everybody is becoming a lawyer nowadays. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1342</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
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<para>- According to the interjection of the honorable member, those who are not in favour of lawyers are fast becoming lawyers. As was stated by the honorable member for Parramatta, the course followed by the Attorney-General involves a principle which is dangerous to the credit of Governments, and perilous to the security of great public interests, and I cannot conceive of any House allowing this matter to pass in the way that it appears to be doing. To me it is apparent that the Opposition have been too easy-going in their attitude towards the present Government. As regards the position of the AttorneyGeneral, his duty is clear ; either he should resign his Ministerial office or relinquish his position as counsel for the South Australian Government. The dangers attaching to the dual position which he holds have already been emphasized. The Prime Minister has admitted that the honorable and learned gentleman enjoys a retainer to give an opinion to the South Australian Government. Should he refuse to do so, in the event of Commonwealth rights becoming involved, he will fail in his duty to his client. Surely the Prime Minister will not place the AttorneyGeneral in that position? Because the rights pf the Commonwealth are endangered, is he not to act faithfully to the South Australian Government? If he does offer an opinion upon State rights, or upon the navigability of the River Murray - a matter in which South Australia is vitally interested, and in which the adjoining States are even more interested - we shall find his duties as counsel upon one side and as Attorney-General upon the other in conflict. Instead of being the custodian and guardian of our highest rights, he is treating us in- a most contemptuous manner. Was any Chamber ever flouted more than this Chamber has been flouted by him? No more serious attack could be made upon any public man than has been made upon the Attorney-General this afternoon. Does he imagine that that attack is prompted by mere caprice or whim ? I ask honorable members to note that, although lawyer after lawyer has been defending the Attorney-General, not one has excused the course which has been adopted by him. We find the legal fraternity true to their union rules. Every lawyer who has addressed the Committee has defended the Attorney-General, but not a single member has declared that the course which he adopted is a good one. The VicePresident of the Executive Council, the Minister of Trade and Customs, the honorable member for Riverina, and others, who were formerly members of the New South Wales Parliament, must have a vivid recollection of the great fight which was made in connexion with the Proudfoot case, in which two of the present Justices of the High Court were engaged., In this instance, the AttorneyGeneral has been retained on behalf of the South Australian Government to give an opinion upon the Murray waters question. That Government desires to appeal to the High Court, which is composed of three Justices, two of whom were censured for having engaged in a similar practice. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Conroy</name>
</talker>
<para>- But that was a case in which litigation had absolutely commenced. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
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</talker>
<para>- Where is the difference between the two? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
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<para>- In one case, counsel was asked for an opinion ; in the other, counsel appeared as an advocate. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
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<para>- The honorable and learned member for Werriwa says that in one instance there was litigation, whereas in the case under discussion there has been none. I fail to see where the distinction comes in. The South Australian Government &#39;has retained certain gentlemen, pre sumably because of their distinguished legal ability. The whole of these three gentlemen are members of the Commonwealth Parliament. When they furnish their opinion; the South Australian Government will act upon it. What is the use of a State &#39;incurring expense to obtain an opinion if it is not to be acted upon ? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
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<para>- Legal opinions frequently prevent proceedings being taken. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- From the newspapers we learn that the South Australian Government has been asked to decide whether they will refer the matter in dispute to the High Court or to the Privy Council. Apparently they are in favour of remitting it to the former tribunal. In these circumstances the Commonwealth will probably come into conflict with the Government of South Australia, and the Attorney-General, as principal law officer of the Crown, will not only have to advise what action shall be taken by us, but, as a representative of the people, will have to take part in any discussion that may arise in this Chamber in regard to the question. I hold that the honorable and1 learned member for Angas, &#39;in a less degree, has also committed an offence. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
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<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Conroy</name>
</talker>
<para>- Does the honorable member mean to say that no barrister in the House should accept any brief whatever? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="display">Mr WILKS</name>
</talker>
<para>- He should not accept a brief against the Crown. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Conroy</name>
</talker>
<para>- But in this case the AttorneyGeneral has not accepted a brief against the Commonwealth. It is simply a States matter. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1343</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr WILKS</name>
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<para>- The Attorney-General must decide once and for all whether he is to sacrifice his private practice or neglect his public duties. The honorable member for Parramatta has brought forward one of the strongest complaints that could be made against a Ministry, and, although it has been pleaded that the late AttorneyGeneral when in office acted for the South Australian Government, I can only say that the then Opposition failed in their public duty by neglecting to bring his conduct before the House. As soon as I learned of the position of the Attorney-General in regard to this case I brought it under the notice of honorable members. When the action of two law officers of the Crown in New South Wales, in connexion with the Proudfoot .case, was discussed in the State Parliament of New South Wales, it was condemned by the honorable member for </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>Riverina, although he said that he would not vote against the Government. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JWY</name.id>
<electorate />
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<name role="metadata">CHANTER, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr Chanter</name>
</talker>
<para>- The honorable member is entirely in error. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr WILKS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I shall be able to support my assertion by quoting <inline font-style="italic">Hansard.</inline></para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JWY</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CHANTER, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr Chanter</name>
</talker>
<para>- If the honorable member turns to <inline font-style="italic">Hansard</inline> he will find that he is mistaken. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr WILKS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I should not have submitted an amendment but for the flippant way in which the Prime Minister has dealt with our complaint. I shall test the Labour Party. If they believe in &#34;one man one billet &#34;- </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX9</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WATKINS, David</name>
<name role="display">Mr Watkins</name>
</talker>
<para>- The honorable member should test his own party. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr WILKS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I refer to the position taken up by the Labour Party, because in the early stages of the debate they interjected most persistently in opposition to the opinions expressed by the Opposition. The honorable&#39; member for Barrier, and also the honorable member for Maranoa, said that if the action taken by the late Attorney-General had been brought before the House at the time they would have voted against the continuance of such a practice. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- I said nothing of the sort. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- I understood the honorable member to interject that he would have done so. Does he think the practice is a proper one? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- I ask the honorable member to give notice of his question. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
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<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- We shall test the question. Those who vote against the amendment will signify their approval of the practice, whilst those who vote for it will show that they consider that the members of the legal profession in the House should not allow their professional interests to clash with the discharge of their public d&#39;uties. If ever a party has been treated with contempt the Opposition has been today. The Attorney-General&#39;s desire for the &#34;shekels&#34; is so strong that even to-day he is neglecting his public duty, and is earning a fee by appearing in one of the lower Courts. If honorable members support him on this occasion they can never complain if others adopt the practice which the Opposition have condemned. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
<electorate>Darwin</electorate>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<para>- I regret that so much purely artificial warmth should have been generated bv honorable members opposite in dealing with this question. It seems to me that there was no necessity for the severe castigation to which the Attorney-General has been subjected. The honorable and1 learned member for Indi was for several years Attorney.General in a Victorian State Government. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L17</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WILKS, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wilks</name>
</talker>
<para>- And the people &#39;of Victoria know him very well. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- Every one who is familiar with the history of Victorian politics knows that the honorable and learned member made great financial sacrifices in his desire to serve the people of this State. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr Lonsdale</name>
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<para>- I do not know that he made great sacrifices. The honorable member should tell us what they were. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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</talker>
<para>- We know that he succeeded in passing some of the best measures that have ever been placed on the statute-book of Victoria to put down the ill practices of boodlering. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="display">Mr Wilks</name>
</talker>
<para>- He has been after the boodle ever since. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- There is a vast difference between the position of the Attorney-General and that of counsel in the Proudfoot case, to which reference has been made by the honorable member for Dalley. The Attorney-General months ago accepted a retained from &#34;the South Australian Government to give a certain opinion, and that opinion may be the means of obviating the threatened litigation. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr Lonsdale</name>
</talker>
<para>- It may have the opposite effect. The honorable member does not know what may be the result of- it. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<para>- The honorable member for New England is in the same position. It is unfortunate that so many honorable members should be so full of latent superstition, or something else, as to cause them without evidence to jump to certain conclusions. They are prepared to condemn others to the uttermost depths of Hades without any justification whatever. Whilst they attack the AttorneyGeneral </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<name role="display">Mr Johnson</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why is he not here? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- -Because he has to appear in a case in which he was retained probably months ago. If the honorable member had retained the AttorneyGeneral before he took office to appear for him in a certain case, and he failed to carry out his agreement, what would he say ? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<name.id>K99</name.id>
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<para>- Is the discharge of a private duty more important than the fulfilment of a public one? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1344</page.no>
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<para>- We must be reasonable. To attempt to reason with a man who possesses no reason is like giving medi- . cine to a dead rat. I do not wish to administer the medicine in this ease, but if honorable members opposite are anxious for it they can have it from me. It is much to be regretted that honorable members of the Opposition should be constantly attacking the private characters of others in this House, who &#39;have made honorable reputations which will live when their antagonists are forgotten. In the Proudfoot case, two honorable gentlemen were retained to appear in Court against the Government. When the AttorneyGeneral of the Commonwealth decides to appear in Court in an action against the Commonwealth Government it will be time enough to attack him, and I may say at once that in such an event I should not hesitate to condemn him. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K99</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">JOHNSON, Elliot</name>
<name role="display">Mr Johnson</name>
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<para>- That might happen just as readily as in the case now before the House has occurred. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- That is the position. The peach is blooming and rosy, but it may be rotten. Are honorable members to be expected to depend solely on the paltry starvation allowance they receive, and to refrain from doing any private business ? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K99</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">JOHNSON, Elliot</name>
<name role="display">Mr Johnson</name>
</talker>
<para>- Does not the AttorneyGeneral receive a very fair salary? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">O&#39;MALLEY, King</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why is the leader of the Opposition absent - why is he in New South Wales to-day ? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JWY</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">CHANTER, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr Chanter</name>
</talker>
<para>- He is away earning fees. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
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<name.id>K5D</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">O&#39;MALLEY, King</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
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<para>- Because he cannot afford to remain day after day in this House. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K99</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">JOHNSON, Elliot</name>
<name role="display">Mr Johnson</name>
</talker>
<para>- He is not AttorneyGeneral. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">O&#39;MALLEY, King</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- He is the leader of the Opposition. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K99</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">JOHNSON, Elliot</name>
<name role="display">Mr Johnson</name>
</talker>
<para>- But he is not in receipt of a salary as such. He simply has an allowance as a member of the Parliament. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">O&#39;MALLEY, King</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- He is receiving&#163;400 a year, just as I am. It is all very well for honorable members opposite to use a boomerang argument, but when they do they must expect it to recoil on them. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K99</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">JOHNSON, Elliot</name>
<name role="display">Mr Johnson</name>
</talker>
<para>- Every honorable member is expected to be in attendance. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">O&#39;MALLEY, King</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- Just as honorable members of the Labour Party attend from day to day. It is a disgrace that the Commonwealth - which was shown by the Treasurer yesterday to be one of the rich est countries in the world - should keep in members in Parliament on starvation wages. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr Lonsdale</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why does not the honorable member and his party induce the Government to take steps to increase the allowance ? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K5D</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">O&#39;MALLEY, King</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING O&#39;MALLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- We cannot force the Government to do anything of the kind. Is the Attorney-General to stand condemned because he is absent fulfilling an engagement which was entered into, perhaps, six months ago ? The attacks that have been made upon himare unrighteous and unchristianlike. Is the House to be turned into a bear garden ? Is it to become a pugilistic establishment, at which honorable members are to attend and slog each other? That is really what honorable members opposite have been attempting to do for the last month. The members of the Labour Party sitting here in the corner have lately been acting as umpires. The Opposition and the Government have been slogging each other, whilst wehave been seeing fair play, and, lifting up the fallen ones, have placed them on their feet again. I shall vote against the amendment, and I call upon the honorable member for Wentworth to show his patriotism by moving that the allowance to honorable members be increased by &#163;200 per annum. I trust that honorable members will pursue a more reasonable course, so that we mav conclude the business which lies before us by the end of October. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1345</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
<electorate>New England</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr LONSDALE</name>
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<para>- The question before us is not whether the AttorneyGeneral should now be in attendance at the Law Courts or carry on a private practice, but whether he should be retained by the South Australian Government to advise them on a question in which the Commonwealth may become very deeply involved. He was perfectly entitled to accept his retainer at the time when he was merely a private member of this House; but in view of the fact that before his opinion was given, he became a member of a Ministry which has control over the rivers question, matters have become complicated. He has been retained by one of the parties interested in a question in which the interests of three or more States may conflict, and in which the Commonwealth mav have to intervene. I contend that when he became Attorney-General, it was his dutv to withdraw from his position as counsel for the South Australian Government as soon as the work upon which he was engaged was completed. There should have been no need for the display of heat in this matter, but the House has been flouted by the Attorney-General. Information was conveyed to him that this matter was to be brought forward, and if he had attended this afternoon there is very little doubt that the whole question would have been settled in a few minutes. The Government, however, having a strong majority behind them, or, rather, having umpires who are prepared, even at the sacrifice of their own opinions, to help the side that is in, have no hesitation about dealing cavalierly with members of the Opposition. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1346</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX9</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WATKINS, David</name>
<name role="display">Mr Watkins</name>
</talker>
<para>- Why was not this question raised when <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon held the position of Attorney-General in the Reid Government? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1346</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr LONSDALE</name>
</talker>
<para>- Nothing was known about the matter. The only knowledge I had upon the subject was conveyed to me by the honorable and learned member for Angas, who told me that he was acting for the South Australian Government, and I was surprised afterwards to hear that <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Sir Josiah</inline> Symon had anything to do with the matter whilst he was AttorneyGeneral. If the then Opposition were aware of the facts at that time, they failed in their duty in not calling attention to them. The dual position occupied by the present AttorneyGeneral should not be tolerated, and if this House has any respect for itself, or a proper conception of its dignity, it will insist upon the Attorney-General either resigning his position as counsel for the. South Australian Government as soon as his present work is completed, or retiring from the Ministry. He cannot now be in a position to do justice to all parties in the event of the Commonwealth becoming involved. No man should stand as counsel for both sides, and no Court in the world would permit of that being done, and yet this, the highest Court in the land, intends to permit such a state of things. .Honorable members opposite know that the present position is an improper one, and yet they do not dare to vote as their consciences direct them. I should not have said a word &#39;against the Attorney-General if he had attended in the House &#39; and stated that he must complete the work which he had begun, but that when it was finished, he would withdraw entirely from the position.. I should have been perfectly satisfied with that explanation. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1346</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KEA</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">KELLY, William</name>
<name role="display">Mr Kelly</name>
</talker>
<para>- Has the Attorney-General been sent for? </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1346</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">LONSDALE, Edmund</name>
<name role="display">Mr LONSDALE</name>
</talker>
<para>- I understand that: word was sent to him that this matter was cobe brought up. If he had even sent a letter explaining the circumstances, I should havebeen satisfied. However, he has not only abstained from attending in the House, but has. given no reason for his continued absence. The Proudfoot case has been . referred to, and I may mention that in connexion with, that matter I took the same view that I am expressing to-day. When a member of Parliament accepts a position as a member of the Ministry, he should at once retire from, every case in which the Government is likely to become interested. I shall certainly vote for the reduction of the vote, in order to show my sense of the treatment to which honorable members have been subjected&#39;. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. CROUCH</inline>(Corio).- After the trivialities with which the Committee has been occupied this afternoon- </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>1346</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K4E</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">CONROY, Alfred</name>
<name role="display">Mr Conroy</name>
</talker>
<para>- I would ask, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Chairman,</inline> whether the honorable and learned member is in order in referring to any discussion as being made up of trivialities? </para>
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<page.no>1346</page.no>
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<para>- The honorable and learned member is scarcely in order in using that term. </para>
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<page.no>1346</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">CROUCH, Richard</name>
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<para>- If the honorable and learned member for Werriwa considers that I have been offensive to him personally, I cheerfully withdraw the remark so far as he is concerned.- I think the time has arrived when we should deal with matters of national importance, and I therefore propose to direct attention to the case of the Drysdale Post-office. The honorable member for Wentworth has occupied a considerable time in discussing a matter regarding which he acknowledged his ignorance, and I think I shall be justified in speaking upon a subject with which I am thoroughly acquainted. Drysdale, which is the centre of a very large farming district in the constituency of Corio, is situated on the road to Queenscliff. It is one of the oldest setlements in Victoria, and principally on that account, has had to put up with a post-office which was built many years ago for the purposes of a private dwelling. The consequence is that the accommodation at present provided is entirely inadequate, and particularly unsuitable. Persons using the telephone inside the wooden building, can be distinctly heard by others standing on the footway, and recently a local clergyman said that he was able to hear tips for the Melbourne Cup being communicated by persons at Drys- dale to their friends elsewhere. The present premises are being rented by the Postal Department, and in view of their utter unsuitability, the residents of Drysdale are highly indignant. I trust the PostmasterGeneral will endeavour to meet the desires of the residents. A stone building at present occupied by one of the banks would be suitable for the purposes of a post-office, and I believe the rental would not be very high. If that building cannot be secured, i hope the Postmaster- General will endeavour to provide other suitable accommodation. The late Postmaster-General of Victoria promised that a new post-office should be built. </para>
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<page.no>1347</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">TUDOR, Frank</name>
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<para>- Was it in his electorate? </para>
</