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Thursday, 20 May 1920

Mr HUGHES (Bendigo) (Prime Minister and Attorney-General) . - As honorable members, and certainly you, Mr. Speaker, are perfectly aware, it was contemplated that an address of welcome should be presented from this Parliament to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, upon his arrival in Melbourne, and it was anticipated that an arrangement would be made between Mr. Speaker and the President of the Senate to enable this to be done, but I have had an opportunity of speaking to Mr. Speaker and the President of the Senate on the matter, and, from what I can gather, the two presiding officers do not agree as to the manner in which it should be done. In this connexion I speak as a shipwrecked mariner. I know nothing about precedence and procedure in such matters. May is a sealed book to me. I say it to my shame. After twenty years of parliamentary life, I look upon May with reverence, and accept its dicta with respect, but I have never read it. In the circumstances I can only offer the humble suggestion of a layman to experts, that Parliament might adopt an address to His RoyalHighness and present it to him in the Library; and if Mr. Speaker agrees with that proposal, not that he thinks it the best way, but because he deems it the only way in view of the impossibility of arriving at an understanding with the President of the Senate, I shall be very glad to move that a suitable address of welcome be prepared by this House and presented to His Royal Highness.

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