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Wednesday, 24 May 1939


Mr LANE (Barton) .- I hope that the Government will agree to postpone further consideration of this motion. 1 am interested in the issues involved in the notice of motion of the honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White). I hope that when the new Minister for Repatriation (Mr. Harrison) is able to give some attention to the many repatriation problems which honorable members have submitted for consideration he will give a number of favorable decisions.

If tile Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) is not willing to postpone further consideration of the motion, I hope that at least he will give us an assurance that the matters involved in motions which private members have on the businesspaper will receive special attention from Ministers during the coming recess. Some of the matters are of considerable importance. I do not know that I would put in that category the motion of the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Blackburn) relating to the initiative referendum and recall, for I have read about that principle ever since my boyhood days, but I must confess that I should like to hear the honorable member for Bourke discuss it. I gather that there is some likelihood that the Government will give favorable consideration to the proposal to reconstitute the Public Accounts Committee. The matter involved in the motion of the honorable member for Balaclava relating to anomalies in the Repatriation Act is, however, of vital importance to many people in every electorate in the Commonwealth. Eoi1 this reason, I again appeal to the Prime Minister either to postpone further consideration of the motion now before us or to give an undertaking that the matters which various private members wish to discuss to-morrow will be carefully considered by Ministers during the recess. I appreciate the difficulties of some of the young and new Ministers in dealing with the numerous routine matters that must inevitably occupy their attention, but, undoubtedly, steps should be taken, to ensure that the other matters to which I have referred shall also be considered.

Mr.blackburn (Bourke) [5.18].- I have a motion on the notice-paper relating to the initiative, the referendum and the recall which I had hoped to move to-morrow, but I regard the motion in the name of the honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White) concerning repatriation anomalies as of even greater importance. If the Prime Minister will give us an assurance that he will make an opportunity for that motion to be moved, debated and voted upon to-morrow I shall agree to consideration of my motion being deferred until a later date. The defects in the Repatriation Act are of such concern to all honorable members, and also to many of our constituents, that the Government should place no obstacle in the way of our discussing them to-morrow as we had expected to do. I understand from the remarks of the honorable member for Barton (Mr. Lane) that favorable consideration is likely to be given to the proposal of the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Jolly) to reconstitute the Public Accounts Committee. I therefore hope that to-morrow the honorable member for Balaclava will be afforded an opportunity to submit his motion and that we shall be allowed time to discuss it and vote upon it.







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