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Friday, 13 October 1911

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - I confess that I heard no reason - either from the Vice-President of the Executive Council or from the Minister of Defence - why the Government could not have introduced this Bill into another place last Wednesday, so that it might have reached the Senate yesterday. If that had been done we should have had time to adequately discuss it. But the whole of yesterday was absorbed in debating a matter which is absolutely of no importance to the Commonwealth. I am sorry that not only the present but previous Governments have adopted the practice of bringing forward Supply Bills at the eleventh hour, and asking us to pass ' them. We have repeatedly heard the cry raised, " Unless this Bill be passed immediately our public servants must remain unpaid." I hope that we have heard the last of that sort of thing, and that in future we shall be afforded ample time to adequately discuss important measures of this description. Unless a departure is made from the practice which has been hitherto followed there might as well - as Senator McDougall has remarked - be no Senate at all.

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