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Thursday, 10 June 1915

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - In reply to the remarks of Senator Stewart, I wish to say that not only during the term of office of the present Government, but during the tenure of the late Government, an officer has always been in attendance here to assist honorable senators in the direction he desires. No obstacle whatever has been placed in the way of honorable senators getting amendments which they desired to move, drafted. A competent officer of the Attorney-General's Department is always in attendance here, and everything that can be done will be done to meet the wishes of honorable senators in the direction indicated.

Senator Bakhap - In the case of a private member introducing a Bill, would an honorable senator then have the assistance of that officer?

Senator GARDINER - His services would be available.

Senator Bakhap - That is all right, then.

Senator Millen - That is news to me.

Senator Pearce - I have availed myself of his services. It is a recognised thing, and has been done for years.

Senator GARDINER - I always understood that honorable senators knew that when amendments to Bills were proposed, the services of the officer were available to put them into shape, and to render any assistance that might be required. I recognise the importance of Senator Stewart's complaint; but I think that probably he is partly responsible himself, because with his aloof manner he might scarcely deign to make an inquiry, and probably would go to someother place. I am glad, however, that the matter lias been brought up. There is not much in it. Assistance will be rendered to honorable senators whenever required.

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