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Friday, 7 May 1915

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - Senator Bakhap introduces so many subjects upon which I find it impossible to agree with him that I feel that I ought to compliment him for having on this occasion brought forward a matter upon which I entirely agree with what he has had to say. If comparatively new members of the Senate, like Senators Bakhap and Grant, find that already their eyesight has been affected by the lighting of this chamber, its effect upon martyrs of fourteen years' standing can be imagined. Speaking for myself, I find that my power of vision has been rapidly declining as the result of attendance in "this chamber, although, like Senator Bakhap, I am an old miner, and I found no difficulty whatever in reading in a mining camp with the modest light of a sperm candle. This chamber is lighted by electric lamps attached to chandeliers, but the glare is such as to be injurious to the eyesight. I am sorry that Senator Gould did not obtain his knowledge of a better lighting system when he occupied the position of President of the Senate, because if he had done so probably a remedy for the defective lighting of the chamber would have been discovered before now. Honorable senators will have noticed that it is not only members of the Senate who suffer from the glare of the lights here. Members of the press are obliged to dodge behind all sorts of shelters to escape the glare.

Senator Gardiner - The press are very successful in dodging more light.

Senator DE LARGIE - I agree with the honorable senator that more light in the reading matter provided by representatives of the press and less in their eyes would be more conducive to the general enlightenment of the people. I think that the first thing that should be done is to remove the antiquated chandeliers which are hung in this chamber. They may be considered highly ornamental by casual visitors, but one's sense of their beauty is minimized by having to sit under their glare hour after hour. If a better method of artificially lighting this chamber can be devised I hope that it will be -adopted as soon as possible.

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