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Wednesday, 27 May 1914

The PRESIDENT - Order ! I remind Senator Rae that the Senate has ordered the debate to be adjourned, and that no other business can be taken until the Address-in-Reply has been disposed of.

Senator RAE - Surely I am in order in discussing the early adjournment.

The PRESIDENT - I thought the honorable senator was speaking under a misapprehension.

Senator RAE - Not at all. As every honorable senator makes his speech in the debate on the Address-in-Reply, we get nearer to the time when it can be disposed of, and other business taken. My point is that if Senator Gould had wished to speak there was plenty of time this evening for him to have made his speech.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator is not in order in asking the Senate to proceed to-night with the debate on the Address-in-Reply when it has decided that that shall not be done.

Senator RAE - I am not asking the Senate to proceed with the debate, but contending that there was plenty of time for another speech to be delivered this evening.

The PRESIDENT - Order ! The honorable senator is now reflecting upon a vote of the Senate, and he is not entitled to do that under the Standing Orders. The Senate has just affirmed that the debate on the Address-in-Reply should be adjourned. It is not for me to say what were the reasons which animated the Senate in arriving at that conclusion. All I am concerned with is that the Senate has affirmed that the debate should be adjourned, and the honorable senator is not entitled to reflect upon that decision of the Senate.

Senator RAE - Very well; I am only too anxious to obey your ruling. I have no doubt that the Senate was animated by the highest wisdom. Nevertheless, I think it is not well that we should get into the practice of adjourning after doing so very little work. We should try to carry on the debate referred to more expeditiously in order that important matters awaiting attention may be dealt with. Whether I am in order or out of order, I hope that it will not happen again.

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