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Thursday, 13 October 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I move -

That so much of the Standing and Sessional Orders be suspended as would prevent the Bill being passed through all its stages without delay.

On moving yesterday for theprinting of papers presentedby the Treasurer (Sir Joseph Cook) on the occasion of the delivery of his Budget speech, I informed the Senate, with regret, of the position in which I should find myself to-day. When, a few weeks ago, we entered upon a temporary recess, we agreed that the day to be fixed for the resumption of business should be notified by you, Mr. President, by letter or telegram to each senator, and yesterday, was accordingly fixed as the date for resuming, in the full belief that the House of Representatives would have passed the Supply Bill last week, so that we could take it up immediately, and proceed with its consideration in accordance with the ordinary procedure provided for by the Standing Orders. But the very important statement which it was incumbent on the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) to make to the other House and the debate which followed its delivery, prevented that House from concluding the consideration of the Supply Bill until yesterday, and, therefore, the measure has only just reached us. In the circumstances, I ask honorable members to co-operate with the Government in passing the Bill through all its stages to-day, because payment is due to the Public Service tomorrow, and it is important that the Treasury should be in a position to meet its obligations then. Speaking yesterday, I told honorable senators that an opportunity was being given to them by the motion which I was then moving to anticipate much of the* discussion which ordinarily would take place on a Supply Bill, and I hope that Senator Gardiner was only partly serious when he said that he would take advantage of both opportunities. In view of the facts, I ask honorable senators to minimize debate as far as they can do so consistently with their conceptions of public duty, so that the Bill may be passed! through all its stages before we rise to-day.

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