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Friday, 6 March 1942

Mr. CURTIN(Fremantle- Prime

Minister) [10.39]. - I move-

That the House, at its rising, adjourn to Wednesday, the 25th March next, at 3 p.m., unless Mr. Speaker shall, by telegram addressed toeach memberofthe House,fix an earlier date of meeting.

The Government recognizes its responsibility to Parliament. It accepts the view repeatedly put forward by members of its own party, namely, that Parliament should meet regularly for the purposes of consultation and review of the administration and conduct of the war. It is desirable that there shall be regularity in regard to the occasions upon which the Parliament shall meet, if that be practicable. A longer interval between meetings of the House than is contemplated in the motion will be required if the Treasurer is to produce legislation to give effect to certain portions of the reports laid on the table of the House late last night in relation to economic policy, particularly in respect of taxation. Therefore, when the House does resume on the 25th March, there will not be available, because of complications and difficulties associated with the preparation of the bills, an opportunity to discuss the Government's legislative proposals. A longer interval will be required for the preparation of the legislation. I then purpose, with the approval of the House, that thereafter the House shall meet On the fourth Wednesday of each month for three sitting days. It can easily happen, of course, that three sitting days will not be sufficient to complete what the Government wishes to do, or to discuss the matters which the Opposition may wish to raise. I had intended that we should meet on the second Wednesday in each month, but the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Fadden) has asked me to fix the 25th of March on this occasion. Therefore, I think that we should meet on the corresponding Wednesday of each month thereafter. That view was put forward by the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron), who stated that there should be some regularity regarding the date upon which members would be expected to meet.

Mr Spender - Subject always to emergencies.

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