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Friday, 26 June 1914

The PRESIDENT - I find that Senator Ready has on the notice- paper a notice of motion, " That the final report of the Federal Fruit Commission be laid on the table of the Senate." In view of that fact, and as Senator Ready appears to be in charge of the business of the Commission, I rule that the question put to him by Senator Mullan is permissible.

Senator de Largie - Before Senator Ready replies, may I ask, Mr. President, whether it would be competent for him to submit to the Senate a copy of the report of the Commission, and to move that it be printed.

The PRESIDENT - It is my duty to see that the business of the Senate is conducted in accordance with the Standing Orders. It is for Senator Ready, as a member of the Fruit Commission, to decide what action he will take; and thereafter it will be for the Senate to determine whether they will indorse that action. The matter is entirely in the hands of the Senate. If the proposed course is not in accordance with the Standing Orders the Senate may suspend the Standing Orders to enable it to be followed.

Senator READY - In reply to Senator Mullan, I desire to say that I have the authority of the Acting Chairman of the Fruit Commission to state that if the Government persist in their endeavour to suppress the majority report, we shall take it out of their hands and hand it over to the press for publication. In order to obtain for it that publicity which the Government are evidently desirous of preventing, I shall adopt the suggestion made by Senator de Largie and take steps to see that the report is tabled to-day.

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