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Wednesday, 16 March 1904

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister for External Affairs) . - I must ask the honorable member not to press that motion. Last night, as is -often the case on Tuesdays, we adjourned early. I regret that the honorable member did not then move the adjournment of the debate to enable him to speak this afternoon. But for a misunderstanding, I believe he would have done so. The position in which we find ourselves now is that if the debate is extended over to-morrow four or five more speakers will take part in it who, I under-, stand, have agreed to waive their right to do so if the debate is closed to-night. Therefore, although it may be at some personal inconvenience to the honorable member for Kennedy, and may impose upon him a burden which I am very reluctant to ask him to accept, I hope the honorable member will see his way not to press the motion he has moved when he learns that we can close the debate to-night if he speaks now.

Mr McDonald - I shall divide the House on it.

Mr DEAKIN - I hope the honorable member will not do so. I think I am making a reasonable request.

Mr McDonald - We adjourned at 10 o'clock last night.

Mr DEAKIN - Honorable members will remember that in consenting to the early adjournment last night I asked them to agree to close the debate to-night. That was the warning given. The honorable member for Kennedy could have spoken earlier to-day if he had chosen to do so.

Mr McDonald - I could not, as every speaker was arranged for.

Mr O'Malley - I might wish to speak.

Mr DEAKIN - I have been informed that honorable members who desire to speak agreed to waive their right to do so if the debate was closed to-night. In the circumstances, I ask the honorable member for Kennedy to help us to close the debate.

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