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Wednesday, 7 July 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I think this is the first occasion on which on a motion of this kind it has been proposed that the Committee be empowered to sit whilst the House in sitting.

Mr Riley - The Public Works Committee at present may, with the permission of the House, sit whilst the House is sitting.

Mr Groom - It is not an unusual provision .

Mr TUDOR - I cannot call to mind a previous instance, and, in my opinion, such aprovision will in all probability prevent certain members from attending to their duties here.

Mr Groom -Section 10 of the Public Works Committee Act provides that the Committee shall not meet while either House of Parliament is actually sitting, except by leave of the House.

Mr TUDOR - In my opinion, it is a bad principle for honorable members to be occupied elsewhere while the House is sit ting Does this mean that the members of the Public Works Committee are going to Western Australia!

Mr Groom - That is not the object of the provision, but it is open to the Committee to go to Western Australia if necessary.

Mr TUDOR - That condition has been embodied in this motion for the purpose of allowing the six members of this House who are members of the Public Works Committee to absent themselves from Melbourne while Parliament is sitting. I do not think that that is a wise principle to adopt. When the Committee of Public Works Act was passed it was expressly provided that the Committee should not sit whilst Parliament was sitting. If the work is urgent, cannot the information required be obtained in Melbourne?

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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