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Friday, 25 November 1910

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) . - It seems to me that the Government are determined that this return shall not be tabled during this session. If that be the ' case, it cannot be tabled until Parliament re-assembles next year, probably in September. In the meantime the facts which the public are entitled to know will be covered up.

Senator de Largie - Cannot the information be asked for next session?

Senator GIVENS - Of course it can, but why should we be required to wait until that time? A member of this party who represents a constituency in Victoria has been vilified from one end of his electorate to the other in regard to this matter.

Senator McGregor - The longer he is vilified the more angelic he will be byandby.

Senator GIVENS - This honorable gentleman does not wish to pose as an angel, but he wants the truth made known to those who returned him, and who are interested in seeing how he has acted as their representative.

Senator Lynch - If he has been returned he has not been made to suffer.

Senator McGregor - He has not suffered very much.

Senator GIVENS - Some honorable senators seem to think that if a person has material advantages nothing else counts, but I hold an entirely different opinion. I believe that the material part of our existence is the least important. The main thing with this honorable gentleman is to have the satisfaction of being able to prove to his constituents that he has faithfully and honestly acted as their representative, and that the statements uttered about him in this regard have been baseless.

Senator McGregor - Nobody believes them.

Senator GIVENS - They do. He is entitled to get the return.

Senator McGregor - Why did he not ask for a return in the other House?

Senator GIVENS - Because he was too diffident to make that request. Questions on the subject had been asked in the Senate, and it would have been a work of supererogation for him to ask for the information in another place. In fact, he is so sensitive on the subject that he thinks he should not ask for the- information at all.

Senator McGregor - We cannot help it- I am very sorry.

Senator GIVENS - I ask the Minister if he has not the information now, and if he has, why should not I and every other senator be furnished with it?

Senator McGregor - I am only in possession of a very small part of it.

Senator GIVENS - The honorable senator knows that the whole of the information can be obtained in five minutes. Until almost the moment the Senate adjourns I shall rise and press for the production of the return.

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