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Wednesday, 2 November 1927

The PRESIDENT - The question before the Senate is the suspension of the Standing Orders. The honorable senator will not be in order in discussing housing.

Senator GRANT - I am endeavouring to show that, although the question is of paramount importance, the Government does not propose to engage in any way inhouse building. The Minister has not advanced a single reason in justification of this proposal to suspend the Standing Orders. Had he proposed to abolish the time limit that now applies to the speeches which are made by honorable senators, such an action would have been worthy of both him and the Senate.

SenatorFindley. - We should have some information to guide us.

Senator GRANT - We have been told that this bill is complementary to another, and that they are closely interwoven. One has as its object, the amendment of the Commonwealth Bank Act; whilst the other proposes in a vague, uncertain manner, to make provision for housing. Why does not the Minister explain the reason for the introduction of these measures? The Senate is entitled to a greater amount of respect than is being paid to it. This action constitutes a disparagement of this chamber and will strengthen the hands of those who favour its abolition. If we continue along these lines for even a limited period that agitation, which at present is not very strong, will increase in volume and the Senate will pass out of existence. It will have deserved such a fate if it is prepared to allow its Standing Orders to be swept on one side without reason. I trust that the Minister will withdraw the motion and afford us ample time and opportunity to discuss both bills.

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