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Thursday, 10 March 1932

Mr SCULLIN (Yarra) .- If the Government had proposed, without notice, an alteration in the notice-paper which might seriously interfere with any arrangements that honorable members might have made, the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) would have some justification for protesting, but we are being asked to deal with a minor amendment, which should occupy us for only two or three minutes. I understand that a technical amendment was made in another place to one clause of the Financial Agreements (Commonwealth Liability) Bill, and the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons) desires that we should consider it at this point. I do not know why the honorable gentleman desires this alteration in the order of business, but from my two years' experience as Prime Minister, I assume that it is because he desires to get away for a little while to do some of the work which is waiting for him.

Mr Beasley - We also have work to do.

Mr SCULLIN - That is so, but that work is neither so great in volume nor so important in character as that which, awaits the attention of a Prime Minister.

Mr Beasley - It is just as important to us.

Mr SCULLIN - If any serious alteration had been proposed, the honorable member would have legitimate ground for complaint, but the amendment which the Government desires us to deal with is purely technical. To divide the House on a question of this kind would be both captious and churlish.

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