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Monday, 18 December 1905


Mr DEAKIN (BALLAARAT, VICTORIA) (Minister for External Affairs) - I thought that the honorable member knew that this was to be done. On Saturday at least half-a-dozen members of one party and another spoke to me on the subject, and were in favour of the course which is now being proposed, since they were leaving Melbourne that evening, and would not return until late to-day, or because they wished to have time to read and considerthe report of the Minister's speech on the motion for the second reading.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - This is news to me.


Mr DEAKIN - The Government were urged not to proceed with the measure immediately, and I said that it would suit us to postpone its further consideration until after the three measures to which the honorable member has referred have been dealt with. Two of them should occupy practically no time, while the third - the Copyright Bill - should not keep us very long, because it is proposed to omit the contentious provisions which it contains. We can resume the consideration of the Seat of Government Bill this afternoon, when other honorable members have returned if we finish the business to which I have alluded.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We shall not have finished it by to-morrow afternoon.


Mr Watson - I understood the Prime Minister to say that he would deal with the Seat of Government Bill immediately after the Copyright Bill had been disposed of.


Mr DEAKIN - If honorable members consider the little Patents Bill-


Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The "little" Patents Bill ! There are considerable objections to that measure. The honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne entirely indorses the view which I take in regard to it.


Mr DEAKIN - I think that the honorable and learned member will find that those objections can be removed. If not, the Bill will not be pressed at this time.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the Prime Minister let us resume the consideration of the Seat of Government Bill this afternoon ?


Mr DEAKIN - If we have finished With the Copyright Bill, from which we propose to omit the contentious provisions.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - A Bill that took the Senate a month.


Mr DEAKIN - That is one reason why it should, not take us so long. It is a purely technical measure, entirely devoid of party significance.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not suggest that it is a party measure, but I say that it is full of debatable provisions.


Mr DEAKIN - I think that the honorable member will find, when he comes to examine it, that the questions involved are purely questions of detail, which we can dispose of this morning. I shall be only too happy to resume the consideration of the Seat of Government Bill as soon as possible, and to continue it as long as honorable members think fit-


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What does the Prime Minister mean by as soon as possible ?


Mr DEAKIN - As soon as we have finished the Copyright Bill.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Not before?







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