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Wednesday, 16 March 1927

Senator GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I have listened to Senator Needham on many occasions, but I confess that I was unable to grasp a good deal of what he said this afternoon. With some of his remarks I agree, possibly to a greater extent than he imagines; but when he delved into a tangle of figures, I was quite unable to follow either the figures themselves or the purpose for which they were compiled. I do not propose to follow either him or the Leader of the Senate (Senator

Pearce), in quoting long extracts from what people said in bygone days, because I do not consider that it matters one iota what was said 15 or 20 years ago. The tide of time has flowed on, and to-day we are living in a set of circumstances entirely different from those which existed at that time. Honorable senators may now take an altogether different view from that which they formerly held. Surely we are called upon, in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, to regard the whole of this matter in an entirely new orientation, and bring to its consideration the utmost wisdom of which we are capable.

May, I, just for a moment, be permitted to strike a personal note? If I followed my inclinations and wishes at -the present juncture, I should probably support the Government, and allow this measure to pass with very little comment, even -though I did not altogether agree with it. But the issues which are raised are so important- that, in justice to myself and to the State whose representative I am, I feel it incumbent upon me to express in clear and candid terms my thoughts in relation to it. I have noticed 'that in one or .two quarters the statement has been made that the opposition to this measure comes from a few disgruntled gentlemen who seek office. I believe that Senator Pearce, at all events, will testify to the fact that, although I am opposed to what the Government intends to do, "with me it is not a question of sour grapes when I say that neither in this Parliament nor outside am I seeking any office.

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