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Thursday, 16 April 1914

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I disagree with the motion which has been submitted by the Minister of Defence, but for entirely different reasons from those put forward by Senator Lynch. I am of opinion that we have no right to run away from our work immediately we have commenced it.

Senator Millen - This is a reversal of form.

Senator RAE - It is a reversal of form by the Minister. When, last session, the Opposition desired an adjournment of the Senate from day to day, until a certain motion was disposed of in another place, he refused that adjournment, and he did so in defiance of what he himself pronounced to be the universal practice. Personally, I fail to see why we should play second fiddle to the other Chamber by acting in this way. But, in accordance with what the Minister declared to be the usual practice when a motion of censure was submitted in another place-

Senator Millen - What the Government accept as a motion of censure.

Senator RAE - The fact remains that the Minister is proposing an inconsistent and anomalous course by reversing the form which he exhibited last session. I wish to point out that if we decided to adjourn from day to day, we would then be in a position to resume the consideration of business the moment that the censure motion in the other Chamber was disposed of. What right have we to assume that the debate upon that motion will occupy two or three weeks ?

Senator Long - We want work.

Senator RAE - While I do not profess to want work, when there is work to be done I want to see it done.

Senator Barker - There is no work on the business paper.

Senator RAE - I wish honorable senators would not talk before they understand the position.

Senator Barker - We understand it.

Senator RAE - The honorable senator does not. All the referenda Bills which have been introduced by his leader appear upon the business paper, and if the honorable senator does not say that their consideration involves work, he does not know what work means. This Chamber should meet as early as possible to consider those proposals, in order that they may receive that amount of attention which their importance merits. Of course, it may be urged that we shall have an opportunity of dealing with them at a later stage, but I am one of those who desire to give full consideration to all Government measures which may be brought forward. For that reason, I say that we ought to remain here, and as we cannot possibly say how long the motion of censure will be pending, we ought to be in ,a position to resume work the moment it is disposed of. I enter my emphatic protest against the proposed adjournment.

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