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Friday, 27 July 1906

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honorable member think that his remarks relate to the motion ?

Mr KENNEDY - I do, sir. The Prime Minister has asked us to forego the right of dealing with grievances on the formal motion, " That the House resolve itself into Committee of Supply," so that I shall not have another opportunity to refer to this matter. I have been asked point blank what attitude I shall take up when certain proposals are submitted to the House. The honorable member for. Gippsland 'knows very well what my attitude will be. I merely desire to say, as has been stated bv the. honorable member's leader - the leader of the Opposition-

Mr McLean - The honorable member has 110 authority for asserting that the right honorable member for East Sydney is my leader. I agree with him on one important question.

Mr KENNEDY - I am only seeking; information. I was under the impression that the honorable member for Gippsland had as one of his colleagues in the late Government the present leader of the Opposition.

Mr McLean - And a. straight colleague he was.

Mr KENNEDY - I am still under the impression that the honorable member is sitting in Opposition, and supporting the right honorable member for East Sydney in his desire to defeat the present Government at the first opportunity.

Mr SPEAKER - I am very reluctant to interrupt the speech qf an honorable member, but I fail to see what relation the remarks now being made by the honorable member for Moira have to the motion under consideration. If he can connect them I shall be pleased, but otherwise I cannot allow him to proceed on these lines.

Mr KENNEDY - I shall connect them with the motion. The honorable member for Gippsland announced that he supported the motion because he thought that the time devoted to the consideration of grievances might well be devoted to the discussion of other business, which, he. suggested, should be submitted by the Prime Minister. I feel sure that the Prime Minister will take advantage of the opportunity, and that, if reliance can be placed in the preaching of the Opposition during this session, the recommendations of the Tariff Commission can be dealt with in one day. We have the statement of the leader of the Opposition that he would have no hesitation in accepting any unanimous proposals made by the Commission. So far, the only reports submitted relate to distillation of spirits, wines, and industrial alcohol, and the recommendations with regard to those items are unanimous. That being so, when thev are submitted to the House we should be able to deal with them in a few hours.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Would it take longer now than at any other time to deal with them?

Mr KENNEDY - Speaking generally, so far as I can judge at present, I have no fault to find with the recommendations of the Commission.

Mr McLean - Is the honorable member in favour of postponing the consideration of the Tariff?

Mr KENNEDY - That question does not arise at present.

Mr McLean - The honorable member will try to pump life into it when the general election comes round.

Mr KENNEDY - That is not the question. I am not attempting to forestall the reports of the Commission. We ought to be able to deal with those already submitted without much discussion, since they have been unanimously arrived at. Consequently, until further reports are presented, there should be no insane desire for the question to be submitted at this stage, more especially as we are engaged on other useful work.

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