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Wednesday, 21 July 1915

Senator GARDINER(New South

Wales - Vice-President of the Executive Council) [3.53]. - I move-

That this Bill be now read a second time.

Although the Government are willing, should honorable senators so desire, to give further time for the consideration of this measure, I ask the Senate to permit the Bill to go through all its stages to-day. If it embodied important principles requiring long consideration, I should not make the request. Everything of importance in the measure will' be found in the schedules and the questions which they embrace. This is the most urgent, the most far-reaching, and the most important of the war measures it has been my pleasure to introduce in the Senate. I ask honorable senators to assist the Government in getting it passed through all its stages without delay, that the Government may take up, in the manner in which they are prepared to take it up, the work of organizing. This Bill is the very basis of organization. Its intention is to enable the Government to know what men, what material, and what wealth is at their disposal for the conduct of the war in the way in which they propose that it shall be conducted from this day forward. I should like to follow the lead of the honorable gentleman who introduced this Bill in another place, and say that it must not be regarded by any one as a first instalment of conscription.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Such a Bill would be necessary if the Government were proposing conscription.

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