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Thursday, 3 March 1904

Mr WILSON (Corangamite) - I entirely agree with the honorable and learned member who has just resumed his seat with regard to the number of days of sitting. A great many honorable members of this House, and of all Parliaments throughout the British dominions, are fortunately engaged in trade or have private business to attend to, which necessitates their devoting two or three days a week to their private callings. I consider that three days in the week is quite sufficient for honorable members to devote to parliamentary business if they desire to conduct it properly. A certain amount of time must be given by honorable members to their private business, and we do not desire that the Victorian State Parliament, the Federal Parliament, or any other Parliament in the British dominions, should be ruled entirely by professional politicians.

Mr Thomas - The honorable member is speaking for Victoria.

Mr WILSON - I am speaking for the whole of the States of Australia. I do not desire that their Parliaments should be conducted entirely by professional politicians. I would say to my professional friends that, while I admit that a few of them may be necessary, we do not desire that all the members of our Parliaments should be professional politicians. We desire that there should be many honorable members who have business outside Parliament, and who are able to bring their business knowledge into parliamentary proceedings. I hope that if the House decides not to sit upon Fridays, the Ministry will not accept the 'decision as an adverse motion, and send in their resignations, because I should not like to see public business incommoded at this very early stage. I do trust, however, that the House will decide not to sit on Friday.

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