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Friday, 11 December 1914

Senator STEWART (Queensland) . - Would it not be better for the Senate to meet on Monday ?

Senator Pearce - I have ascertained that the majority of honorable senators desire to meet on Tuesday, and that there is a possibility that if we did meet on Monday the Bills for which we are waiting might not reach us from another place.

Senator STEWART - It appears to me that there are a number of honorable senators who consider nobody's convenience but their own. I have been in Melbourne between two and three months, and have never had an opportunity of visiting the State which I represent, whereas some honorable senators have been able to return to their homes each weekend. The probability is that the Bills of which the Minister has spoken will be here on Monday. The reason we are asked to adjourn until Tuesday is that certain honorable senators could not deny themselves the pleasure of a journey to their homes, even for one week-end. We are to be kept here a day longer than we would be otherwise, in order to suit their convenience. I do not think that that is good enough.

Senator Guthrie - We are to be kept here to suit the exigencies of business.

Senator STEWART - The honorable senator is merely pretending. It is almost a certainty that the Bills with which we have yet to deal will reach this Chamber on Monday. We shall then have only Tuesday and Wednesday in which to consider them.

Senator de Largie - There is business with which we can proceed now. For instance, we can go on with the consideration of the Estimates.

Senator STEWART - Why should we not meet on Monday? Indeed, why should we not meet to-morrow ? There are several important measures to come before the Senate, and I venture to say that these will be dealt with in the most perfunctory manner. There will be no time to discuss them either intelligently or otherwise. I am opposed to meeting on Tuesday. I think we should reassemble on Monday.

Senator Keating - Does the honorable senator think that we could get through on Monday ?

Senator STEWART - I think that it is very likely . If the other branch of the Legislature knew that we were to meet on Monday it would have the business ready for us.

Senator Pearce - My information is that the Bills awaiting our consideration will probably not reach us on Monday.

Senator Keating - The Minister's information is most likely correct.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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