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Friday, 25 November 1910

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) - - A note will be taken of the matter referred to by Senator Story, and the attention of the Public Service Commissioner called to it in a very short time. The alarm exhibited by Senator St. Ledger regarding the position which the Prime Minister, or any other Minister of the Commonwealth, will occupy at the Imperial Conference should be easily allayed. Senator Rae has complained that the matters to be dealt with at the Conference ought to have been discussed by the Senate. I regret that information on the subject was not even in the hands of the Commonwealth Government, but I have now a list of some of the matters to be dealt with and to be submitted by the Commonwealth, and will lay it on the table when I get an opportunity.

Senator Givens - When is the honorable senator going to lay on the table the return as to the Parliamentary Allowance, for which I have asked?

Senator McGREGOR - I think I have done all that 1 possibly could in the matter. It is possible that the officers of the Department have been so worried that they could not attend to every detail, and they may have had more important work to do than the preparation of the return referred to. It is too much to ask that public servants should be sweated to furnish trifling information of the sort. I have said I will lay a list of some of the subjects to be discussed at the Imperial Conference on the table, and honorable senators will have an opportunity of seeing what they are.

Senator St Ledger - And of discussing them?

Senator McGREGOR - We have still another Bill to deal with, and if honorable senators think it well to further, delay the business of the Senate, they will have full liberty to discuss them. As everything has been done to satisfy the thirst for information displayed by honorable senators, I hope that this Bill will now speedily be passed through all its stages.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a first and second time.

In Committee:

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 postponed.

Clauses 3 and 4 agreed to.


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