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Tuesday, 16 August 1921

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - Iam most anxious to assist the Government.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have been suspecting that of late.

Senator DUNCAN - The Minister will be given cause for even deeper suspicion before matters have proceeded much further. With respect to the motion, I would like an assurance from the Government that they are in earnest. The Senate is now required to meet in the mornings as well as to deliberate during the afternoons and nights, and occasionally, perhaps, all through anight. The Government should show that they really want to put through the schedule with despatch.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The motion indicates that.

Senator DUNCAN - There are other considerations which indicate the contrary.For example, I have received an invitation from the Government requesting my attendance at the official opening by the Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) of an exhibition of enlargements of war photographs next Friday afternoon. The Senate will meet on Friday afternoon. Coincident with a motion to extend the hours of sitting an invitation comes to hand which, if it is generally accepted by honorable senators, will practically mean no sitting next Friday after luncheon. This Chamber will meet on Friday morning at 11 o'clock. From 1 to 2.30 p.m. there will be the usual suspension of the sitting for luncheon. Before the business of the Senate can be well got going again, it will be necessary to adjourn in order that honorable senators may avail themselves of the invitation to attend the exhibition of war pictures. Indeed, if they are to do justice to the occasion, those who propose to leave by the Inter-State trains on Friday will need to be present at the Exhibition before the formal opening, in order to study the pictures. To do so, they must leave Parliament House immediately after lunch. Why should that afternoon be sacrificed? Half-a-dozen important items of the Tariff might well be dealt with in that time.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the honorable senator should happen to be absent.

Senator DUNCAN - Am I to understand then, that, while some honorable senators are attending the exhibition of pictures by special invitation of the Government, others will remain in this chamber to put through items at the behest of the Minister in charge? . I hope the amendment will be agreed to, for it presents a fair compromise.

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