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Friday, 18 June 1915

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) .- We must have a clear and definite understanding on this matter. Apparently Senators Stewart and de Largie desire to discuss the Panama Exposition Commission, possibly its personnel, and perhaps the expenditure incurred by it; and Senator de Largie pertinently asks whether the passage of the Supply Bill to-day will preclude him or others, when the Estimates come before us, from moving to reduce a certain item by£1. I heard the Minister's answer, but it should not be forgotten that any honorable senator moving to reduce a particular item will have to confine his remarks to that item, and if a dozen honorable senators want to move in half-a-dozen ways to reduce expenditure, what position will they be in?. My own view is that once this Supply Bill is passed, we shall be committed to the payment of the amounts mentioned in it, and though we may have an opportunity to talk, perhaps until we are tired, our speeches can have little or no effect. When I rose the first time and gave place to Senator de Largie, it was with the object of asking for an explanation regarding the proposed grant of £100 to the National Association for Labour Legislation. May I ask where the headquarters of the association are located; if it is yet in existence; what are its specific objects; and is this the whole of the money to which the Commonwealth is committed ?

Senator Gardiner - I have not at my disposal now any information on that point, but I will get it for the honorable senator.

Senator FINDLEY - I can assure the Minister that the Government have no more faithful follower than I am; but I suggest that, while I am not thirsting for information in regard to the item, it would not be much trouble for the honorable senator to answer my inquiry. If he gets the information, and it satisfies me, I shall be quite willing to let the item remain.

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