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Tuesday, 15 March 1904

Mr WATSON (BLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have no objection to the reading of this particular petition ; but I should like to know whether we are to continue the practice of last session of allowing all petitions to be read ?

Mr Deakin - The practice last Parliament was to allow the first of a series of petitionsto be read, but not to read others of the same tenor.

Mr WATSON - In some of the Parliaments of the States, the practice is, not to read petitions, but to have them printed and circulated. The reading of a petition takes up the time of the House unduly, and as, after all, any honorable mernber who desires to make himself really cognizant of its contents must afterwards peruse it in print, no really useful purpose is served. I think that if it were understood thatno petition should be read, our action in objecting to the reading of this petition could not be considered invidious.

Mr Knox - Are all petitions printed?

Mr WATSON - I believe so, whether they are or are not read.

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