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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator KINGSMILL (Western Australia) . - I shall say but a very few words on this subject since I think it has been threshed almost threadbare. I intend to support the motion, because, in my opinion, the procedure adopted on the occasion referred to was most undesirable, and, I believe, was taken deliberately, in order to prevent an important report of the Public Accounts Committee from being presented. If I were at liberty, I could bring proof of that statement.

Senator Grant - Why does not the honorable senator produce his proof?

Senator KINGSMILL - Because I do not consider it right to introduce private interviews into a discussion in the Senate. I believe the procedure of the 9 th May was taken deliberately. In future I shall be very careful about granting leave for any statement to be made or motion to be moved, unless I know what is likely to be the outcome.

The fact that it was a tactical blunder has nothing to do with the case, and does not influence my judgment on this occasion. My very long experience of parliamentary procedure on the floor of the House, and in the Chair, convinces me that it is a precedent which ought not to be followed. If the motion is defeated, the inference will be that the procedure adopted on the 9th May should be regarded as a precedent. I ask honorable senators to bear that point in mind. Foi the reasons that I have endeavoured to express as clearly and shortly as possible, it is my intention to support the motion, although I regret that it has been moved, believing that we should "Let the dead past bury its dead." I should not be true to my conception of the functions of this Senate, the Parliament as a whole, and the procedure that ought to be followed, if I did not support the motion.

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