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Wednesday, 10 May 1939

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Prime Minister) . - by leave - I do not wish to reply at this stage, and for that reason I asked leave to make this statement. I have given consideration to the points raised by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin). I am sure that it is the desire of all honorable members, as it is the desire of the Government, that this matter should be dealt with on an agreeable basis'. As far as possible, any query raised by members of the House as to the relevant facts should be satisfied. I shall enter into consultation with representatives of each of the other two parties in the House by means of an informal committee. I suggest that two members from each party be appointed to act in this capacity. The relevant facts can be put before the committee and its work expedited so that no delay need occur. When the relevant facts are considered it may be possible for the committee to agree upon a formula acceptable to all parties. The committee, if appointed, can meet at once and consider the subject. In the meantime, further debate on the bill can be deferred. I hope that this suggestion will commend itself to the Leader of the Opposition. I have discussed it with the Deputy Leader of the Country party (Mr. Thorby) and he is agreeable to adopt it.

Debate (on motion by Mr. James) adjourned.

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