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Thursday, 1 October 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [3.2]. - by leave - For the convenience of honorable senators I propose to intimate to them the nature of the business to be brought before the Senate this week and next. Four bills dealing with grants to the States are now before the other branch of the legislature, and, I understand, are the next business to be taken there. These measures must be passed before the 31st October, and will have to be disposed of by the Senate before a lengthy adjournment of this chamber will be possible. The Invalid and Old-Age Pensions Appropriation Bill must also be passed prior to the end of October. Several bounty bills are now before the Senate, and a bill is to be brought forward dealing with a bounty on oranges. We also have the Defence Equipment Bill and the Financial Relief Bill, but, as these are not particularly urgent, they can stand over for the present. It is assumed that prior to the time when honorable senators will board their trains to-night, the small bills on the notice-paper will be carried to the third reading stage, and the Senate will adjourn until next Thursday morning at 11 o'clock. It is hoped that by that time the House of Representatives will have dealt with the bill providing for grants to the States, and that the Senate will dispose of them next week. Then the Senate can adjourn until the House of Representatives has completed its consideration of the budget and the tariff schedule. As it is impossible to fix the time when the House will finish dealing with those two important measures, it is proposed to ask the Senate to adjourn to a date to be fixed, on which honorable senators will be called together by Mr. President. It is obvious that three or four weeks will be occupied by the House of Representatives in dealing with the two important and highly contentious measures to which I have referred.

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