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Wednesday, 16 November 1927


Senator VERRAN (South Australia) . - I do not intend to support the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham). It can easily be seen that it is the desire of honorable senators opposite to delay discussion, and, if possible, to destroy the bill. Their attitude to-night is due to the fact that they have not been able to attend a caucus meeting to discuss an important amendment, moved by the Honorary Minister (Senator McLachlan), and, consequently, they do not know where they stand. Their tactics are not new to me. In acting in this way they are not only wasting time, but endeavouring to wreck a measure which contains some very useful provisions.


Senator Hoare - That is not so.


Senator VERRAN - I have had longer parliamentary experience than the honorable senator, and know the dirty game that is being played. Caucus has not had an opportunity to discuss the new situation which has arisen, and consequently the Leader of the Opposition and his supporters are. merely dancing round the maypole. Possibly the Government has made a mistake in this instance, but no government can expect to carry on its responsible work without making mistakes. In this instance, possibly, it is preferable that the savings bank should be under the control of the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Bank rather than three commissioners. There are already too many commissioners, the members of which are receiving high salaries. The age in which we live is one of talk. I hope that its successor will be one of action. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) wishes to negative proposed section 35f. I have read that wise men sometimes change their minds, but fools never do. It is quite possible that the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Bank foresaw the difficulties that might be created if control of the savings bank was taken from them, and placed their views before the Government.







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