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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50

Appointment of Chairman of Committees

Appointment of Chairman of Committees.

Mr. Berry moved,—" That the Hon. James Robert Dickson be Chairman of Committees of this Council."

Mr. Lee Steere seconded the motion.

Mr. Dickson said: Mr. President,—Before that Question is put, I desire to say a few words, I am fully sensible of the honour which it is proposed to confer upon me in appointing me Chairman of Committees of this Council, but I may say that when the question was mooted I was under the impression that no other member of the Council would accept the position, inasmuch as the occupancy of that office might debar the holder from taking that active part in the debates which is desirable. I expressed my own opinion, when my name was mentioned, that it would be highly desirable that the Hon. Mr. Douglas, the Premier of Tasmania, should be invited to undertake the duties of the office; and I was informed that he had been communicated with, and was not, at that time, prepared to accept the office. However, sir, I learn to-day, and I am very glad indeed to hear it, that the hon. gentleman has re-considered his decision, and I trust he will inform the Council that he is prepared to discharge the duties of the office. If so, it will give me very great pleasure to request my hon. friend, Mr. Berry, to withdraw his motion and allow me to move, without notice, that Mr. Douglas be appointed Chairman of Committees. I need only add that I simply allowed my name to be put forward as chairman with the view of rendering the best service I could in the interest of the Council, and without any ambitious aspirations to accept an office of such dignity.

Mr. Douglas said: Mr. President,—As to this appointment, I submit myself to the will of the Council, and if elected I shall endeavour to perform the duties of the office to the best of my ability.

Mr. Berry: With the permission of the Council I beg to withdraw the motion.

Mr, Dickson: Mr. President, I beg to move, without notice, that the Hon. Adye Douglas be appointed Chairman of Committees of this Council.

Mr. Lee Steere seconded the motion.

Question put and passed.

Mr. Douglas: Mr. President, I thank the members of this Council for the appointment they have just made. I shall endeavour, as far as possible, to carry out the duties of the office in an efficient and proper manner. As I have frequently expressed to hon. members, that in all probability I shall not be present at any future session of the Council, it is not my intention to take a very active part in the business of the present session. At the same time I consider it my duty to pay every attention to the various matters that may be brought forward. With regard to the Federal Council itself, I did not express myself on the subject yesterday, nor do I intend to express my opinion upon it now, beyond giving utterance to my belief that, if its proceedings are conducted as they should be, and as I believe they will be, vast and permanent results will flow from it. Much must depend on the way in which this Council performs its duties, and therefore I, as one of the Council, will endeavour to do all in my power to bring about the desired result I may add, before sitting down, that the colony of Tasmania must consider itself very fortunate in having the first Federal Council held in its metropolis; and I am sure the representatives of the colony, as the colony itself, must be exceedingly gratified to see gentlemen from so many different parts of Australasia present here during this session. We are pleased that Hobart was chosen as the place for holding the first session of the Council, and we hope it will not be the last to be held in this city. I am sure it must be a great personal pleasure to gentlemen coming from the hotter climates of Australasia to spend a few days or weeks in the genial climate of Tasmania. Gentlemen, I thank you again for the appointment you have made, and I trust I may be able to perform the duties of the office to the satisfaction of the Council.