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Wednesday, 12 October 1921

The PRESIDENT - Although Senator de Largie is, strictly speaking, out of order, I hope that Senator Duncan will not press the point he has raised.

Senator de Largie - In what way am I out of order?

The PRESIDENT - In discussing a matter which does not come properly within the scope of the particular motion before the Chair.

Senator de Largie - I did not move any motion.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator is confined in his remarks by the terms of the motion which has been moved, which is that certain papers be printed. Unless his remarks come within the purview of the matters contained in the papers to be printed they are not in order. There is an opportunity provided to enable honorable senators to discuss matters not relevant to the motion before the Chair, and that is on the first reading of a Supply Bill. I ask Senator Duncan in the circumstances not to press his point of order, because I desire Senator de Largie to continue his statement.

Senator Duncan - Very well. I shall not press my point of order.

Senator DE LARGIE - Ji there is anything in Senator Duncan's point of order I do not desire to shirk the responsibility.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator may continue his statement.

Senator Duncan - Let the honorable senator move that the report of the Select Committee be adopted.

Senator DE LARGIE - Senator Duncan may move 'any motion he pleases. There is nothing on the business-paper to prevent me dealing with this matter now.

Senator Duncan - The honorable senator might have let me know that he intended to deal with the matter.

Senator DE LARGIE - Why should I ' let the honorable senator know, in view of the discourtesy I received from him as a member of the Select Committee?

Senator Duncan - I attended the meetings of the Select Committee as a fairminded man. The honorable senator did so in order to slaughter a man, but he was not able to effect his purpose.

Senator DE LARGIE - The honorable " senator went there to do what he could in a certain direction. I have referred to a letter which I received from Mrs. Denholm. It was written on the 20th September, 1920, and is as follows: -

Dear Senator de Largie, -

I was very annoyed when I heard what had taken place in the Senate - Senator Givens' statement that I wrote bitter complaints about my son making lying statements to him about his hours of duty. I can assure you that the statements are not only untrue, but unjust and cruel. Robert has always been a dutiful . son, and has never given me any occasion to complain. I can assure you there is no truth in Senator Givens' statement. I would be obliged, Senator, if you would ask Senator Givens or any one else in Parliament House to produce my letter in the terms stated. I have never written or given authority to any one else to do so, and I strongly object to statements of that kind being made public. I would bc grateful if you would inquire into this matter for me.

Yours respectfully,

Nellie Denholm.

The statements in that letter were supported by an affidavit by this lady, who was asked to give evidence before the" Select Committee. If I remember aright, she was asked to attend the Select Committee by Senator Duncan, but the honorable senator was not present when the lady came here for the purpose. As a result, we were without a quorum, and we had to take her affidavit instead of taking her evidence.

Senator Duncan - I had a very good reason for my absence.

Senator Wilson - Did we not have all this before?

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