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Friday, 4 November 1921

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - I desire to direct the attention of the Minister (Senator Russell) to the fact that very slow progress is being made with this Bill. , There are 138 amendments to 107 clauses, and it appears to me that the sensible course to adopt would be to withdraw the measure and bring in one in which all these amendments have been embodied. It is difficult, to follow the numerous amendments, and if the course I suggest were 'adopted the work would be facilitated.

SenatorRUSSELL (Victoria - VicePresident of the Executive Council) [11.54]. - Quite a number of these amendments are trivial in character, and many have been necessitated by the Committee deciding that the functions exercised by a chief officer shall be performed by the head of the Department. It is impracticable to withdraw the Bill as suggested, and introduce it in a form which would enable it to be passed without any amendments being made. How can we bring in another Bill?

Senator Wilson - You have a mixture of amendments now that it is impossible to follow.

Senator RUSSELL - I have spoken on every clause where 'an explanation was necessary.

Senator Wilson - And it becomes more confusing the more you speak.

Senator RUSSELL - Honorable senators have had these amendments before them for some months, and as many are unimportant, and do not involve any principle, no unnecessary delay should occur.

Senator Wilson - The Minister must admit that it is difficult' to follow them in the present form.

Senator RUSSELL - I have not taken up the time of the Committee where only verbal amendments are concerned, but where any alteration of principle has been involved I have explained the position.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Senator Russell) proposed -

That sub-clause (9) be left out.

Senator PRATTEN(New South Wales) |"1 1.55].- The Minister (Senator Russell) said that he would make an announcement in regard to the business of the Senate. Is it the intention to adjourn at 1 o'clock or at the usual hour?

Senator Russell - I do nob feel disposed to make a definite pronouncement in the absence of the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator E. D. Millen), who is at present attending the Premiers' Conference. I am having inquiries made, and hope to be in a position to make an announcement before 1 o'clock.

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