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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr BRUCE (Flinders) (Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs) . - As the motion we have just agreed .to indicates, the Government proposes that the House shall merely adjourn for a period, and, upon re-assembling, continue the present session. That, I think, was generally .expected and understood by honorable members. The Government set forth its policy in the Governor-General's Speech at the commencement of this session, and has succeeded in passing through Parliament most of the measures embodied in it; but there still remain some of importance to be dealt with, and it is proposed that they shall be considered upon the resumption of the session in the new year.

During the week I was asked by an honorable member to indicate the probable time when Parliament will be called together again, but I refrained from answering the question, because it appeared to me to be an inquiry that should come from the Leader of the Opposition, and that it would be more courteous if I gave that information when he asked for it, or before the House suspended its sittings. It is proposed that! the House shall reassemble as early as possible after my return from the Imperial Conference in order that I may submit a report upon the proceedings at the Conference, and so that legislation arising out of it may be dealt with. I shall probably return to Australia towards the end of February. I had hoped to get back at the end of J January, but in order to do so, as I shall return via Canada, I should have to leave Great Britain almost immediately after the conclusion of the Conference, and, as a result, would have no opportunity to visit various parts of the Mother Country and say some of the things which I think the people of Australia desire shall be said. That early departure would also have allowed me a very limited time, if any, in the United States of America, and certainly would have given me very little opportunity to discuss with the Canadian Government the reciprocal Tariff arrangement which it is desirous of discussing with me when I pass through the Dominion on my homeward journey. I have received a most cordial invitation from the Government of the United States of America to visit "Washington,

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