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Wednesday, 2 November 1927

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW (Queensland) (Minister for Defence) [ 3.21]. - I move -

That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent the bill being passed through all its 3tages without delay.

If this motion is agreed to, it is intended to take only my second-reading speech to-day, and to enable the Leader of the Opposition to continue the debate to-morrow.

Senator NEEDHAM(Western Australia [3.22]. - I cannot agree to this motion, notwithstanding the intimation of the Minister that it is not proposed to-day to go beyond his secondreading speech. It is a travesty of parliamentary procedure for the Senate to adjourn for a fortnight, and then immediately on its reassembling, for a motion of this kind to be submitted. It is not right that we should be plunged into a second-reading debate on a highly contentious measure until we have had time to peruse it. In connexion with a bill of such first-rate importance, it is probable that there will be considerable discussion. That the measure has been before another place for two or three weeks is not a sufficient reason for departing from the ordinary procedure. There is no reason why the Minister's secondreading speech should not be postponed until to-morrow. That would give honorable senators an opportunity to consider the bill and to come prepared to discuss it to-morrow. If this motion is agreed to, the Minister will probably desire to follow the same procedure in connexion with the Commonwealth Housing Bill, a measure closely allied to that now before us. It would be as well to abolish our Standing Orders entirely, as to do what the Minister proposes. What is the reason for the hurry? Even with the other measures which have been foreshadowed this afternoon the notice paper will not be crowded. We are still only at the beginning of the session, and it is not fair to the Senate that at this stage there should be any departure from the ordinary procedure. The measure with which we are asked to deal immediately was. not rushed through another place: its consideration there took at least a fortnight. The Minister should withdraw the motion and be content to deal with this measure in the usual way.

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW (Queensland - Minister for Defence) [3.25]. - One is amused at the assumed auger of the honorable senator. He is aware that in order to meet the convenience of honorable senators the Senate adjourned for a fortnight.

Senator Needham - We could not do otherwise; there was nothing for us to do.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - The honorable senator complains that a motion to enable this bill to be dealt with promptly has been moved, and also that he has not had an opportunity to consider its provisions. I remind him that this bill was before another place for three weeks.

Senator Needham - It was amended there.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - Its main provisions were not amended. The bill was fully discussed in another place, and no doubt the honorable senator is well aware of its provisions. I askthe Senate to agree to the motion. I repeat that it is intended to go no further to-day than my second-reading speech. That will give honorable senators the opportunity to consider the bill before discussion on it is resumed to-morrow.

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