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Thursday, 3 April 1941

Senator KEANE (Victoria) .- I protest againstthe motion. Under this bill, we are asked to votethe sum of £20,000 forthe assistance of berrygrowers in Tasmania whose crops, the Minister (Senator McBride) has informed us, have been damaged by frost and hail. I do not know whether the berry-growers in Tasmania have suffered loss because of a storm; indeed, I do not know whether there are any berry-growers in that State. I protest against the action of the Government in declaring this bill an urgent bill. More particularly in view of the fact that the Government has received the fullest co-operation from the Opposition in expediting the passage of urgent legislation, I protest against the Government's action in slamming business through the Senate in this way. I and my colleagues who are now resisting those tactics have never been disloyal to any decision of our party caucus. The BerryFruit-Growers' Belief Bill was never mentioned at any of our caucus meetings. The Government knows beforehand its legislative programme,yet it persists in the muddling practice of bringing down measures of this kind in the dying minutes of a session. I am not prepared to acquiesce in that practice. Therefore, in protest, I shall vote against the measure.

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