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Thursday, 12 May 1921

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - Even if the clause was debated at length, I think Senator Elliott is justified in moving for its recommittal if he thinks that it may be further improved. I should very much like to hear his views as to the combined effect of the two provisions he has mentioned, and I do not think the Minister will lose anything by agreeing to the recommittal of this clause. Senator Elliott asks that an aspect of it, which he thinks has not been sufficiently discussed, should be reconsidered. His position to-day may be that of any other honorable senator to-morrow, and on the general ground that he should be given an opportunity to state his case, I am prepared to support his request. The Senate should always be ready to protect the rights of individual senators. I shall stand solidly for the principle of free dis cussion, which, in this case, can be secured by Senator Elliott only by the recommittal of the clause. If Senator Elliott's reasons for proposing an amendment of the clause are not acceptable, we shall not debate them in Committee, so that very little time will be lost.

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