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Friday, 18 March 1904

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister for External Affairs) . - The original proposal which I submitted to the House when an Easter adjournment was suggested, was that we should adjourn at the end of next week, and have a fortnight's holiday, which would permit of some honorable members visiting the Capital sites, and other members returning to their homes. I was afterwards induced to put aside that idea by a suggestion that the holidays should begin a week later, but since it appears that the Wishes of most honorable members would be consulted bv beginning the holidays from the end of next week, .1 shall fall in with their view. I am rather surprised at the request for an adjournment of the 'debate, on the second reading of the Arbitration Bill. I must say that until the debate on the Chinese question Was adjourned to next week, I had supposed that if the second reading of the Conciliation and Arbitration

Bill were moved on Tuesday honorablemembers would be prepared to continue the debate on a Bill which is familiar to many of them, and which has been lying on the table for three weeks. Surely we ought tobe able to deal with it now without any. delay.

Mr Watson - The debate on the last Bill filled two volumes of Hansard.-Mr. DEAKIN.- If the debate is commenced, as I hope it will be, very early on Wednesday, and new members' find that they have not had sufficient time in which to study the provisions of the Bill, we shall endeavour to proceed with other business when the older members of the House have delivered their speeches.

Mr Fisher - Does the honorable and learned gentleman intend to begin the debate on Tuesday ?

Mr DEAKIN - I should like to.

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