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Friday, 26 June 1914

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) . - I cannot allow this question to pass without calling attention to the fact that we are in the dying hours of a Parliament, which was actually declared by Ministers to be in the throes of a deadlock between the two Houses, resulting in the Governor-General deciding to send both branches of the Legislature to the country. Yet, in face of that fact, we are called upon to pass a piece of legislation which has already been agreed to by both parties in another place, but is nevertheless highly important, because it is extending the payment of a bounty or bonus, and is thereby perpetuating for another year a vital policy. The amount involved is not great, but the principle involved is one of the most important that could be contained in any piece of legislation introduced into this Parliament.

Senator Millen - Do you not approve of it?

Senator O'KEEFE - Of course I approve of it. But the fact of this Bill being introduced disproves the assertion of Ministers that there was actually a deadlock in this Parliament. Here is a piece of legislation, which both parties are agreeable to regard as non-contentious, and if any action of the present Ministry disproves their assertion that a deadlock existed between the two Chambers, it is the fact of their bringing down this measure in the last hours of the Parliament, and asking the Senate to pass it without discussion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and reported without amendment.

Report adopted, and Bill read a third time.

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