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Thursday, 8 October 1936

Senator GRANT (Tasmania) .- I bring under the notice of the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) the inconvenience experienced this morning by some honorable senators owing to the absence of transport facilities between Goulburn and Canberra. When speaking on the Apple and Pear Bounty Bill last week I was asked by the Government Whip to obtain leave to continue my remarks at a later date because the Government was anxious to bring forward some other business. A definite assurance was given to me and to other honorable senators by the Government Whip that if the early train was not running to Canberra to-day, other arrangements would he made to transport us from Goulburn. This morning six or seven honorable senators, who had been assured at Albury that the early train would not run to Canberra, arrived at Goulburn expecting that other means would be provided by theMinistry for the completion of the journey. Included in that number were three honorable senators representing Tasmania who wished to speak on the bill mentioned. We found, however, on arrival at Canberra later in the day that the debate on the measure had been proceeded with and that the bill had been passed. It is very unfair to those honorable senators who wished to speak on the measure to be deprived of the right to place the views of their constituents 'before the Senate, particularly as a definite assurance had been given that transport facilities would be provided. It was most unfortunate that the debate should have been continued this morning as there was no steamer from Tasmania until Tuesday and we could not catch a train from Melbourne before Wednesday. 1 trust that in future when the Senate sits a day later than that on which the House of Representatives meets suitable arrangements will be made for transport between Goulburn and Canberra. Cars are often waiting at Goulburn hut they are for ministers and officials. I am not asking for any special privilege, but in the circumstances mentioned honorable senators representing Tasmania should not have been prevented from speaking on a measure of such importance to that State.

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