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Wednesday, 21 October 1903

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) - No doubt it would suit the convenience of honorable members generally to take the Estimatesin globo, but if the honorable member for Kennedy persists in his objection it will be a daring thing for you, Mr. Chairman, todo other than to put them before the Committee in the usual way.

Mr McCay - We have on previous occasions passed forty or fifty divisions at a time.

Mr FISHER - If so, it was with the general concurrence of honorable members. The Appropriation Bill having been withdrawn, these are new Eestimates.

Mr McCay - The Estimates are not new, though the Appropriation Bill will be.

Mr FISHER - I contend that they are new, and that we are entitled to discuss every item in them. The Government have been able to obtain a majority in favour of several increases which were refused when the old set of Estimates was before us, and surely it is possible that honorable members may be able to obtain reductions in some other items. At any rate, honorable members have a right to move such reductions. Does the honorable and learned member for Corinella deny that we have that right?

Mr McCay - The honorable member could move the reduction of any item.

Mr FISHER - If that be so, we could commence with the first item. I hold, however, that the Chairman must submit the Estimates in the usual way. They can be submitted in globo only with the unanimous consent of the Committee.

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