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Tuesday, 28 June 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - Before bringing this matter under the notice of the Senate, Senator Fairbairn, with his characteristic courtesy, informed me of the action which he contemplated taking, and of the reasons which, in his judgment, warranted that action. As a result,. I have been able to confer with my colleagues upon the matter, and to give him the assurance that no appointments will be made in continuance of the policy indicated in the statutory rule to which he has referred until Parliament has been "afforded an opportunity of considering the whole question upon the items which will appear in the Estimateswhen they are presented. That promise, I think, will meet Senator Fairbairn's wish so far as it goes. When the timecomes to debate this matter, I think I shall be able to show that there were good and sound reasons for the Government proceeding in the way it did at the time, it did. The question can stand over for the fuller debate I have mentioned, but I should not have agreed to allow it ta stand over with the impression remaining that, in some blind and reckless way the Government had, without justification, -proceeded to take the action to whichSenator Fairbairn has drawn attention. However, no other steps will now her taken until the. two Houses have been, placed in a position to express their approval or disapproval of the proposal.

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