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Wednesday, 7 July 1926

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I hope that the Senate will not agree to the motion. The very fact that the notice-paper is practically devoid of business is a reason for postponing the second reading of this bill until to-morrow, when it can be proceeded with in the ordinary way. The suspension of the Standing Orders is becoming far too frequent an occurrence. Honorable members of the Opposition during the past few weeks have assisted the Government by agreeing to the suspension of the Standing Orders, to pass urgent measures. The Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) cannot claim that we have placed any obstacle in the way of the suspension of the Standing Orders to meet urgent needs. We have disposed of a considerable amount of business with expedition. We should observe the usual procedure of the Senate, and should not agree to rush through business in the way that is proposed. It would be better if honorable senators were allowed to see the bill, and be given time to digest it before embarking upon a discussion of it. If the matter did not brook of any delay, I should not offer any objection to the suspension of the Standing Orders. Another important bill this afternoon reached the Senate from another place, and is to be discussed to-morrow. Even if this were an important bill, we should still observe the rules and procedure that have stood the test in this Senate for the last 25 years. I urge honorable senators to reject the motion.

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