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Thursday, 30 November 1905

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I rise to make an appeal to" the AttorneyGeneral to consent to progress being reported. It is nearly half-past 11 o'clock., and there has been no unreasonably long speech- "delivered to-day. I have listened very attentively to the debate, and in my opinion we have done a good day's work. The Attorney-General commenced with a two-hours' speech), and I am' sure that noone begrudged him a moment of that time. He delivered/ a speech, replete with research', such as we might expect from him after he had carefully prepared himself-

Since then there has been a series of speeches, and the longest one, I think, was that made by the honorable member for Darling.

Mr Tudor - No; the last speech was longer in delivery.

Mr Johnson - I spoke for less than an hour.

Mr McCay - It was seven minutes longer than the honorable member for Darling.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -That is neither here nor there. The rest of the speeches have occupied from thirty to forty minutes. This question of the union label is of the greatest possible importance to the people of this country. If we are to put our arguments, pro and con, in such a way that they can be read and weighed by the people they should be delivered at reasonable hours, and therefore I make an appeal to the Attorney-General to consent to an adjournment.

Mr. ISAACS(Indi- Attorney-General). -There is no personal desire on the part of the Government to sit for long hours, but none of us can overlook the fact that the Vear is no longer young, and that there is a good deal of work yet before us. This question has occupied the attention of the House for a very long period, and although I did take up considerable time to-day it was only due to the members of the Opposition who had previously advanced their arguments that I should endeavour to reply to them. I feel that possibly we can arrange now that the consideration of this question shall be finished to-morrow.


Mr ISAACS - This question has been thoroughly threshed out and perfectly considered. For a considerable period we have had put in the best possible way the arguments of our honorable friends opposite.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I suppose that my honorable friend has read the various amendments ?

Mr ISAACS - I have read the amendments, and I believe that pretty well every honorable member has made up his mind in regard to them.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I believe it took more than five months to complete a similar debate in Canada.

Mr ISAACS - I shall not express any view upon what Canada ought to do. The Prime Minister made a very explicit declaration the other night, and I think it will be impossible to get through the work in anything like reasonable time if we do not make a strong effort to finish this Bill this week. I think that the Bill must be finished this week, and I make that statement, having regard to the state of public business, and not from any desire to press it. through the Chamber.

Mr McCay - Assuming that the Government try to do that, that is no reason why we should not adjourn to-night.

Mr ISAACS - If we can come to an understanding that the Bill shall be completed this week-

Mr McCay - No.

Mr Skene - No compact !

Mr ISAACS - When my honorable friend says " no compact, " he cannot expect the Government to adjourn now. It isvery near the end of the week; there is a good deal to do; and if there cannot be an understanding to that effect-

Mr Kelly - The Bill is against sweating, why sweatus?

Mr ISAACS - I am against sweating too, but at the same time, the work must be done. I think it will be acknowledged that the views of the Opposition have been very well expressed!, and that there is no room left as to any misunderstanding as to what they are.

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