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Tuesday, 5 December 1905


Mr JOHNSON (Lang) - The deliverance of the honorable member for Wide Bay would have been more pertinent and apposite to the occasion had it been made last session when the honorable member for Maranoa and others thought it necessary, in discussing the Appropriation Bill, to describe the colour of persons hair and eyes, what they ate, drank, and wore, and to mention the number of buttons on their coats. There has been nothing of that kind attempted from this side of the House. All criticism has been confined to legitimate channels, and I guarantee that a reference to Hansard will disclose that the waste of time took place last session, at the instance of Labour members then sitting on the Opposition benches, and not this session. If there is anything which has iustified the Opposition in criticising measures it is the fact that hardly a measure is introduced which it not immediately followed by the placing of a number of amendments on the contingent notice-paper by the Ministry themselves. Almost every measure has been shown to be so imperfectly drafted that Ministers have immediately drawn up a number of amendments. We have just dealt with a Bill literally studded with amendments proposed by the Minister in charge of it, and now we find that the Minister of Home Affairs has drawn up a number of amendments for insertion in the Electoral Bill. These facts afford ample justification for the conduct of the Opposition in. so closely scrutinizing these measures. It is not a fair thing to expect honorable members to come here and be sweated day after day in this fashion. I am much surprised that members of the Labour Party should be the first to "barrack" for this sweating system.

Question resolved in the .affirmative.

House adjourned at 13.32 a.m. (Wednesday).







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