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Thursday, 17 November 1921

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - That matter must be left to those responsible for the conduct of business in this Chamber. There may be a number of stages passed before that position is reached. The honorable senator must be content with discussing the terms of the amendment.

Senator LYNCH - It is only those matters that constitute a difference between the two Houses that will form the subject of a conference, if the Board is appointed. Already we have had the temerity to press some requests. That constitutes a difference between the two Chambers.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The ordinary procedure will be followed.

Senator LYNCH - I am asking what steps will follow that. Take the specific item of bananas. We have already agreed to press our request. There is a difference between the two Chambers on that matter. If we still adhere to our decision, what becomes of it?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Two procedures are open. We can either send a further message back to the other Chamber, informing it of the latest amendment of the Senate, and await a reply; or, if there still remain items in dispute, I presume the ordinary procedure of a free conference will "be adopted.

Senator LYNCH - I accept the statement that a free conference will follow.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the Minister explain what he means by a free confer- . ence?

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is the invariable practice in the State Parliaments, and the Federal Parliament has followed that practice, that where there are matters in dispute, or in negotiation, they are dealt with in the earliest stages by messages, and, if those messages fail to bring about an adjustment of the differences, there is a conference.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - On the first Federal Tariff, when the honorable senator was in Opposition, the House of Representatives had to give way.

Senator LYNCH - There is no use in. making two bites at a cherry. It is better, on the present occasion, for the Committee to negative the motion rather than adopt Senator Earle's amendment.

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