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Tuesday, 22 November 1910

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - The amendment is one which I think honorable senators will readily agree to. It provides a guarantee that when the Government think it well to exercise their powers under this Bill, the obligation is laid on the Minister, to notify to each House, within seven days from the issue thereof, if Parliament is in session, and, if not, within seven days after the reassembling of Parliament, the issue of any proclamation under paragraph b of proposed new section 112. I, personally, heartily support the amendment, but T take advantage of this opportunity to direct the attention of Ministers to the desirability of devising some means by which honorable senators may have put before them promptly any amendments which they are asked to consider. The Government have at their disposal all the machinery of a big printing office, and it is surely possible for them to have circulated to honorable senators copies of these messages from another place before they are asked to agree to what is proposed. I cannot believe that honorable senators are prepared to take these things for granted - to buy a pig in a poke - without knowing what it is they are being asked to do. In this case, the amendment proposed is a very simple one, but a similar difficulty might arise in connexion with a very complicated amendment, and I again appeal to Ministers to take such steps as may be necessary to put honorable senators in possession of a statement of any proposal they are asked to accept.

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