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Friday, 18 December 1914


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - We have to await another message from the House of Representatives, and I think that in the meantime we might dispose of a motion which will give honorable senators some idea as to when they are likely to be called upon to assemble here again.


Senator Millen - A motion which I hope will not excite any violent hostility.


Senator PEARCE - I think that it is likely to he adopted unanimously. I move -

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until Wednesday, 14th April, 1915, unless Mr. President shall, prior to that date, by telegram or letter addressed to each senator, fix an earlier day of meeting.

Precedents are very valuable in connexion with such matters, and there is one precedent in this Parliament for a motion of this kind, giving power to the President to summon honorable senators at an earlier date than that mentionedin the motion, should that appear to be necessary.


Senator Millen - As a matter of curiosity, the Minister might say what the precedent was?


Senator PEARCE - When we were dealing with the Tariff in 1901-2, Mr. Deakin submitted a similar motion in the House of Representatives, giving Mr. Speaker a similar power.


Senator Millen - A most business-like proceeding.


Senator PEARCE - At the present time we axe in a much more serious position, and, owing to the war, the necessity of summoning both Houses of this Parliament at an earlier date than the 14th April next might arise. I think that this is a convenient time to say that, speaking for my honorable colleagues and myself, we desire to return to you, sir, the Chairman of Committees, the Temporary Chairmen and honorable senators generally, our sincere thanks for the courtesy and kindness that have at all times been extended to us. Though the session has been a short one, we have passed some valuable legislation. The consideration meted out to the members of the Government in the Senate has been such as to justify us in feeling grateful to honorable senators on both sides. I should like also to bear in mind the work of the officers of the House and the Hansard staff, who have at all times carried out their duties well and given us every assistance. May I, in conclusion, wish you, sir, the Chairman and Temporary Chairmen of Committees, honorable senators generally, the officers of the House and the Hansard staff, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I trust that we shall return early in the new year reinvigorated. I express a hope, which I am sure finds an echo in every heart, that we may return under happier circumstances, that the cloud which now lies over the Empire may by that time have lifted, and that brighter days may be in store for everybody.







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