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Friday, 25 November 1910

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) .- I am sorry that the Vice-President of the Executive Council did not give me a civil answer to the question I asked him just now. He was probably feeling a little skittish, and perhaps it would be as well to remind him that all the Estimates are not yet through. I have taken the trouble to see the Acting Treasurer with regard to the return for which I moved, and which the Vice-President of the Executive Council promised me this morning he would do his best to present before the session closed. I do not feel disposed to wait in good temper until September of next year for this return. There are several other honorable senators on this side who think in the same way on the subject. I wish to have the return particularly in the interests of an honorable member who has been very much misrepresented, and who, as the return will show, has acted as straightforwardly as any member of this Parliament. Any ordinary clerk in the Treasury Department could make up the return in twenty minutes at the outside. Another member of this party has been misrepresented and vilified throughout Victoria in connexion with this matter, and he also is entitled to get this return. The Senate and the public want the return, and why can we not get it?

Senator McGregor - Why did not the honorable senator move for it at the beginning of the session? If he had done so, it would have been furnished before now."

Senator GIVENS - The information I should have got at the beginning of the session would have been very different from the information which I am going to get now in this return. The Vice-President of the Executive Council has appealed to honorable senators to facilitate the passage of business, but no one knows better than the honorable senator that we have all done our best to assist him. There will be no opportunity to make use of the return this session, and I ask the honorable senator now, at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute, if he cannot do the right thing in this matter, and see that the return is placed on the table?

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