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Thursday, 30 June 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) . - The honorable senator always places me at a disadvantagewhen hie speaks, but in all seriousness I think he is doing me an injustice on this occasionin view of the explanation of the Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce).

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Thatshould have been made yesterday.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Senator Thomas rather implied a charge of misrepresentation .


Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable senator's remarks implied that because the Senate was told one thing last night, and because circumstances arose necessitating an alteration, I was endeavouring to mislead the Senate.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I did not mean that. The Minister should have been correctly informed.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Until the Senate rose last night, a sub-Committee of the Cabinet was dealing with the question of amendments to the Public Service Sill, and it was not until later that it was found necessary to alter our arrangements. Last night Ministers were engaged until after the Senate adjourned, and it was only after they had completed their labours that we were in a position to say that it was not desirable to proceed with the Publio Service Bill to-day. That is a reasonable explanation.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is all right for those who reside in Victoria.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I can quite understand the honorable senator desiring to return. to the attractions of the mountain air, but it was impossible to say last night precisely what would happen, and intervening circumstances necessitated an alteration of the programme.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Could we not have been considered?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not think that the honorable senator can accuse ine of laok of consideration. I have never obstructed any proposal for an adjournment when it has been brought forward.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the Minister see that it does not happen again f

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not disposed to give any such assurance. If we proceeded to disouss the Bill in Committee in its present form, amendments would be brought down, perhaps next week, and we would have to go over our work again.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister is quite right, but we ought to have been informed.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - That was impossible, and I feel sure that honorable senators will benefit by the course we have taken.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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