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Tuesday, 8 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - I wish to question the procedure which is being followed this evening. It, appears that an entirely new method has been adopted of conducting the business of the House. It is surely the right of honorable members generally to know the intention of the Government in regard to any matter upon which they are called to record a. vote. It is quite a new thing for tick-tacking methods to be adopted here. Evidently whispering has gone on between different sections of honorable members as to what the Government proposes to do. That practice, so far asI know, is entirely new in the history of this Parliament. The members of the Government have always asserted that they havenothing to hide, and that the light of day may always be thrown upon their actions. In these circumstances, it is strange that we should find them participating in an episode which is one of the worst exhibitions of its kind in the history of this Parliament, and is entirely discreditable to the Government. I. did not participate in the debate on the tobacco duties, because I felt that it was fair to honorable members who represent tobacco-growers, that they should have the fullest opportunity to ventilate their opinions. I was satisfied to leave the subject to them. But I am interested in the measure of employment that may be made possible through this industry, and I fully expected that we should be given an opportunity of reaching a decision on the matter to-night. I protest very strongly against the action of the Government in postponing this debate as it has done. I hope that further practices of this kind will not be followed in the Commonwealth Parliament.

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