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Friday, 7 May 1915

Senator BAKHAP (Tasmania) . - I take advantage of the opportunity which you, sir, pointed out to me was provided by this motion to mention the defective lighting of this chamber. I have heard complaints from honorable senators who have served here much longer than I have, and who have found that the sys tem of lighting adopted has been detrimental to their eyesight. My own experience has been somewhat limited, but I1 have to say that the lighting of this chamber has affected my sight more than any other system of lighting of which I havehad experience.

Senator Ready - My eyes were all' right before I came here, but they have troubled me ever since I came into thischamber.

Senator BAKHAP - The honorablesenator's experience is the same as my own. It might be thought that my eyesight was affected by advancing age, because some people have said that I have a venerable appearance, but, as a matter of fact, I am only a middle-aged man, and I consider it rather early for my eyes to be affected by artificial lighting, as they have been since I entered this chamber. I believe that there are many modern systems of lighting which would be more satisfactory than that which has been adopted here.

Senator Keating - There is a great deal "of glare also from the heating ap*paratus in this chamber.

Senator BAKHAP - That is so. There oan be no doubt that the way in which artificial light is reflected here has an injurious effect upon the optic nerve. I do not complain because I have suddenly become dissatisfied with the palatial conditions in which I find myself in this building. I lived for years in mining camps,, where I had no better light than that of a sperm candle. I think, sir, it is desirable that we should obtain expert advice in order that a system of lighting might be adopted which would be moresatisfactory than that which we have now. Unfortunately this building has been so constructed that it is necessary to have recourse to artificial light, even in the day time. From what I have heard other honorable senators say, many of them find . that their eyesight has been substantially impaired by the somewhat antiquated system of lighting that has been adopted here.

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