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Thursday, 1 September 1921

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - As this is the most important item in which the duties are " as prescribed by departmental by-laws," I desire to remind the Minister (Senator Pearce) that early in the discussion of the schedule, one honorable senator took exception to the inclusion in another item of the words, " as prescribed by departmental by-laws," and moved for their omission. A lengthy debate ensued, and as it promised to become more lengthy, the Minister in charge (Senator Russell), on my suggestion, gave an undertaking that honorable senators would be afforded an opportunity, before the schedule left the Senate, of dealing with the whole question of these departmental by-laws, as to the manner in which they were framed and promulgated. A considerable amount of discussion was, therefore, abridged. I hope that promise stands good, and that the Minister will be able to inform the Committee when that discussion may be expected to take place. I understand there is a very general feeling that the remainder of the schedule shall be dealt with by the Committee now. I believe that even motions for recommittal are to be considered during the present sitting. I am not quite sure whether we shall have an opportunity to discuss these departmental by-laws on the third reading, when the Bill comesback from another place after consideration has been given to the requests from this Committee. I rose to draw attention to the Ministerial promise which resulted in the termination of the debate on that occasion. I hope the Minister will take this opportunity of affirming it and indicating to the Committee when the debate may most conveniently take place.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - When the Bill conies back from another place.

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