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Wednesday, 29 November 1944

Dr EVATT (Barton) (Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs) . - I find that the Keast-Hey report is a much longer document than I thought it was. Half a dozen copies are available, and it would be out' of the question to have the report roneoed, so that, more copies could be distributed. I shall immediately make available to honorable members copies of the Charles report and a summary of the report of the Copper and Bauxite Committee. The secretary of the department assures me that the summary is a fair one. I ask honorable members to complete consideration of all the clauses of the bill except clause 10.

Mr Anthony - Will honorable members be given a day in which to study the report?

Dr EVATT - No. Honorable members who are really interested in the technical side of the matter can go through the report fairly quickly.

Mr Anthony - But we cannot be expected to assimilate the contents of highly technical reports unless we are given time.

Dr EVATT - It is not expected that honorable members will want to assimilate the contents of the reports in a technical sense, but they can quickly gather from them sufficient information for the purpose of this discussion. That is a fair offer to the committee.

Mr Archie Cameron - It could be postponed until to-morrow afternoon.

Dr EVATT - I could not possibly agree to that, because, when honorable gentlemen have seen that report, they will probably be quite satisfied.

Mr Archie Cameron - If they are satisfied, the right honorable gentleman can go straight ahead.

Dr EVATT - Exactly. I ask the committee to go straight ahead with the consideration of all the clauses, except clause 10, which I am prepared to postpone until to-morrow morning. I am offering what my colleague offered in the passage that has been read. I should have liked to complete the bill to-night, but, in view of my colleague's offer, I am prepared to postpone the appropriation clause until to-morrow morning and to have the reports now available distributed among honorable members in order that they may, in the meantime, study them and return prepared to consider that clause.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion (by Dr. Evatt) proposed -

That the resolution be reported to the House.

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