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Thursday, 12 May 1921

The CHAIRMAN - Senator DrakeBrockman's concluding remarks were made so hurriedly that I did not have an opportunity of intervening before he resumed his seat. The honorable senator evidently anticipated objection by saying that his statement was irrelevant.

Senator GARDINER - The practice of reading newspapers has been- adopted by Mr. President, and also by Ministers, and although I was reading when Senator Drake-Brockman was speaking, I was sufficiently alert to interject that the amendment would secure the vote of the legal fraternity. The honorable senator immediately replied that- that was not so,, because the Government had not the power to brief members of Parliament. Although the Government may not have the power, members of the legal fraternity in this Chamber are endeavouring to protect the interests of that very strong and splendid union of which they are members. The honorable senator also suggested that there was an opportunity of hurrying the Bill through while I was reading; but I think he will now realize that it is better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Senator Drake-Brockman - But I am supporting the honorable senator.

Senator GARDINER - Then I must be wrong. I do not want, power to compel the production of secret documents. It is clear that this clause will place the Minister in a position superior to that of the Law Courts. I object to the principle.

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