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Wednesday, 24 May 1939

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - Private members' day is regarded as of major importance by honorable gentlemen of all parties for the reason that it gives them an opportunity to inform members of the Government of the subjects upon which they are most deeply concerned. The honorable member for Lang (Mr. Mulcahy) pointed out that during the coming recess the Government will be giving consideration to the budget for 1939-40. As private members are not permitted to introduce bills involving the expenditure of public funds it is highly desirable that full opportunity be afforded them, before the budget is prepared, to submit for the consideration of the Cabinet matters which in their opinion should occupy the attention of the Government and concerning which the expenditure of public moneys may be necessary. For that reason in particular I urge the Prime Minister to allow private members' business to be discussed to-morrow. Unless this right be conceded, the budget will be signed, sealed and delivered before these matters can possibly be placed before Ministers. It may be suggested that they can be dealt with on the motion for the adjournment of the House, but that, in my opinion, is not an appropriate occasion to discuss them.

Mr Menzies - I well remember the honorable member for West Sydney making a valuable and effective speech on one occasion on the motion for the adjournment of the House.

Mr BEASLEY - That may be so, but the right honorable gentleman will appreciate that, although all I said on that occasion has been amply justified, and my attitude vindicated, my speech did not call for any legislative action. I urge the Government to give careful consideration to the view expressed by the honorable member for Lang.

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