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Friday, 12 June 1914

The PRESIDENT -I am afraid that the honorable senator is travelling beyond theterms ofthe motion.

Senator DE LARGIE - I have no wish to do that, sir, if you will indicate how I am transgressing.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator is entitled to give all the reasons which occur to him as to why the papers specified in the motion should be produced, but he is not entitled to discuss generally the consequences to the Senate, in so far as those consequences may not be affected by the reasoning. I assume that the honorable senator was arguing that the Senate should not assent to any thing apart from what the papers may contain, whether tabled or not. If he will connect his argument with the subjectmatter of the motion he will be in order; but on the lines on which he was going he was not quite in order.

Senator DE LARGIE - I do not wish to go beyond the scope of proper discussion, but to keep within the rules of debate. There are many good reasons which may be urged in favour of the production of these papers. Seeing that we are on the brink of a most important step, I submit that we have a right to the fullest possible information on the subject, and that I am entitled to point out these important considerations before that step is taken. I am quite prepared, however, sir, to accept your direction, and to refrain. The Senate should not be content totake any statement which is offered by the Government. We want proof ; we want facts placed before us, so that we can judge for ourselves the true position. At the present stage, however, we know very little. We have merely had a memorandum read to us which seemed to be-

Senator Long - Skilfully phrased.

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