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Friday, 7 May 1915

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I do not .think it necessary to add anything to what has been said except perhaps to assure you, sir, that the feeling is very general in the Senate that the lighting of this chamber is such as to constitute a distinct physical inconvenience to honorable senators. I had the idea some time ago that my eyes must be phenomenally weak, because of the amount of physical discomfort I suffer after being in this chamber for a few hours. I have been somewhat relieved to find that I have not been singular in this respect, and that my vision is apparently quite normal. It should not be a very difficult matter to remedy the defects which have been complained of. The modern system of lighting is to do away with individual Tights, and by cloaking to distribute the light in such a way that it causes no inconvenience. I understand, sir, that one of the difficulties with which you are confronted is the tenure on which we hold this building. I am quite certain that honorable senators will agree with me when I say that I would prefer to sacrifice a little of the beauty of this place to the comfort of working here.' If nothing else can be done, it seems to me not difficult to stretch under the lights a few battens, which may be purchased for a few shillings, and cover them with art muslin or other fabric of that kind. That would, of course, shut out our view of the chandeliers.

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