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Friday, 27 July 1906

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister of External Affairs) . - I move -

That so much of standing order No. 241 as provides for the question being put on every third Thursday, " That the Speaker do now leave the Chair," on the Order of the Day for Committee of Supply or Ways and Means, be suspended for the remainder of the session.

I submit this motion, because within the next few days the "Budget speech will be delivered, and the Estimates laid on the table. The discussions that will take place in, Committee of Supply will afford honorable members the fullest opportunity for ventilating any grievances they may have, or of. debating any and every question relating to the affairs of the Commonwealth. We have, owing to the lapse of motions during the last few weeks, been enabled to avail ourselves of a small portion of the time usually devoted to private business, and do not yet propose to ask honorable members to forego the privilege now enjoyed by them on one afternoon each week. I hope, however, that the provision, on the notice-paper for the so-called " grievance day " will be allowed to disappear for the remainder of the session. We have a great amount of work to do, and I am sure that it is desired in all quarters that "we should close the session at the "earliest possible moment, consistent with the transaction of the business now remaining. I should have been loth to submit this motion if I had thought honorable members would be denied an opportunity to consider various details arising from time to time in connexion with the administration of the Departments; but I think that the discussion upon the Estimates will afford every facility for the ventilation of grievances. I trust, therefore, that honorable members will make the sacrifice - if any sacrifice is involved - with a good grace, and assist the Government to make this, the last session of the present Parliament, as fruitful as possible.

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