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Friday, 29 October 1920

Mr SPEAKER - No; the point of order had been taken, I think, on a previous occasion, and in the case of the motion for the appointment of the Sea Carriage Select Committee, the established practice was being followed, in pursuance of a ruling given by my predecessor. I am merely relating the procedure on an occasion subsequent to the ruling referred to - the last time, I believe, that a similar position arose. The practice was thus established to give honorable members a chance to have their motions dealt with, rather than have them arbitrarily expunged from the paper. The first Order of the Day on 26th March, the day following the sitting of the House when the debate was interrupted, was -

Sea Carriage Select Committee. Resumption of debate upon the following motion of Mr. Mcwilliams: - "That a Select Committee, consisting of seven members of this House, be appointed to inquire into and report upon the conditions of the Australian overseas and Inter-State sea carriage."

The practice followed on that occasion is identical with the action now being taken.

Mr Mahony - I gave notice of dissent from your ruling, Mr. Speaker.

Mr Charlton - I was desirous of speaking to the motion, and of moving an amendment to refer it back to the Committee.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member is too late. When the Order of the Day was called on, I looked around the chamber, and, a* no honorable member was, apparently, prepared to continue the debate, the Minister rose to reply.

Mr Charlton - All I wish to say is that the circumstances to-day are altogether different. We have decided to hand over the note issue to the Commonwealth Bank, so the argument that the Note Printing Department should be near the Treasury does not now hold good.

Mr GROOM - It does not make a bit of difference.

Mr Charlton - I think it makes a great deal of difference.

Mr GROOM - If the honorable member desires to establish the Note Printing Department at Canberra-

Mr Charlton - I am not suggesting that at all. I am merely suggesting that, in view of the altered circumstances following the decision of the Government to hand over the note issue to the Commonwealth Bank authorities, there is not the same reason now for the Note Printing Department to be near to the Treasury.

Mr GROOM - The notes have to be printed. We cannot continue any longer in the present premises without grave risks. This is an urgent proposition. We have been in the present premises too long already, and it is impracticable to establish this Note Printing Department at Canberra at the present time. The Committee has reported as to the impossibility of finding temporary premises in Sydney, and it is utterly hopeless to attempt to get temporary buildings in Melbourne. It is a good business proposition, even if we erect a building and have to remove the note printing three or four years hence to Canberra.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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