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Thursday, 3 April 1941

Senator KEANE (Victoria) .- I regret the unpleasant role that some honorable senators on this side have been compelled to adopt this evening, and I now ask the Leader of the Senate to arrange that, when we re-assemble after the Easter adjournment, there will be an orderly schedule of business, so that we shall not have foisted on us, as has been done to-day and on numerous occasions in the past, numbers of bills to be dealt with without any opportunity for their proper discussion. Slavish adherence to decisions made in the House of Representatives is not in the interests of satisfactory legislation. This is the senior House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth and its authority should be recognized. During the period that will elapse before we again assemble here it may be possible for the Leader of the Senate to devise means by which more bills will be initiated in this chamber. I wish to make it clear that I shall not be a party to the passing of legislation that I do not understand. If I were to say otherwise, I should not be truthful. Honorable senators on this side are prepared to accept decisions arrived at by the party to which they belong, but many of the matters which have come before us to-day had not been seen by the party until they were placed before us for almost immediate approval. In order to avoid a repetition of such unsatisfactory procedure, which is unfair to this Parliament and to the electors, I ask the Leader of the Senate to take my suggestion into consideration.

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