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Friday, 27 July 1906

Sir JOHN QUICK (Bendigo) .- On behalf of thePrinting Committee, I desire to make a personal explanation in reference to a resolution passed yesterday by the Senate. On 28th June, 1906, I, as Chairman of the Committee, sent the following letter to the Prime Minister: -

Sir, -

I have the honour to inform you that at a meeting of thePrinting Committee of the House of Representatives, held on the 15th inst.,I was requested to call your attention to the unnecessary printing and extra expense incurred by the Senate in printing regulations under thePost and Telegraph Act 1901, as set out in the journals- forwarded herewith. As I pointed out in my letter of 14th July, 1904, regulations of this character are published under the Rules Publication Act 1903, and presented to Parliament in the usual printed form of such rules.

The resolution passed by the Printing Committee was as follows : -

That the attention of the honorable the Prime Minister be again called to the fact that these regulations (sec page11 of Journals of the Senate) are published underthe Rules Publication Act, and that there is no necessity for their being printed as parliamentary papers.

The Printing Committee, in forwarding that letter, had no desire to question the right of the Senate to order the printing of ' any document, nor to assail the discretion of thePrinting Committee of that Chamber. We, in no way, criticise or' challenge the exercise of its prerogatives by the Senate. But, in the performance of the duties for which we were appointed by this House, we think that we have a perfect right to draw, the attention of the Government to what we consider -extravagance in the matter of printing. The letter was merely a continuation' of correspondence which has been conducted by me on behalf of the Printing Committee during a period of some years. The first letter on the subject was sent to the Right Honorable Sir Edmund Barton, then Prime Minister, and he concurred in its recommendations. We sent a second letter to the honorable member for Bland, when he was at the head of affairs, and he, too, thoroughly agreed with the Committee's suggestions. This is the third letter on the subject. Our object is to draw the attention of the Government to the facts, so that the. Prime Minister may place himself in communication with his colleague, the leader of the Senate, and inform him that certain documents are printed, published, and circulated by authority of an

Act of Parliament, so that he may not inadvertently move for their printing a second time, and thus cause unnecessary expense.

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