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Friday, 13 August 1920

Mr McGRATH (Ballarat) . - I cannot understand why the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) should refuse the information sought; he could give it in less than five minutes. I see nothing wrong in the desire of the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr, Ryan). He is seeking to conserve the rights of honorable members. I want to hear something about these mandates. I want to know if the subject is one in regard to which there must be hurry. 1 want to know what form of civil administration is to be set up.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - The honorable member will not let the Prime Minister inform him.

Mr McGRATH - I will sit down at once if the Prime Minister will agree to do so, or if the Treasurer (Sir Joseph Cook) is prepared to give that information.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - It is all contained in the Bill ; but the honorable member will not let the Prime Minister introduce it.

Mr McGRATH - When the Treasurer and the Prime Minister were on this side of the House there were no honorable members more insistent than they were upon the recognition of their rights.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - I challenge the honorable member to find an instance in which I sought to block a motion for the introduction of a measure.

Mr McGRATH - I did not say that the Treasurer had done so, and I am not attempting to infer it.

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