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Wednesday, 18 May 1904


Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) - The Prime Minister, in complying with the request made at our last meeting, that he would not merely indicate the business proposed for this session, but outline as far as possible that to be submitted during the present Parliament, has spoken with a fullness and clearness which places us under an obligation. The length with which he has dealt with the various questions submitted-


Mr Watson - I apologize for the length.


Mr DEAKIN - It needs no apology. It would have been far better, if an error had been committed, to have erred on the side of frankness than of reticence, but there has been no error in that respect. In taking honorable members into his confidence the honorable gentleman has. properly discharged his duty to the House. We have now before us a programme for. two-thirds, at all events, of the life of this Parliament, but familiar though we may be with nineteen out of twenty of the matters with which he has dealt, either as measures of the late Government or as proposals which have been considered by them, I think the Prime Minister will admit that we are entitled to ask for some leisure in which to consider his programme as a whole. Although the introduction of the tobacco monopoly and national banking- proposals may relieve him from the suspicion - an unjustifiable one, I admit - of having had a hand in the preparation of our document which was submitted elsewhere this morning-


Mr Watson - I have no knowledge of that document. The notes from which I spoke were prepared last night.


Mr DEAKIN - The suspicion to which I refer might otherwise, upon circumstantial evidence, be harbored against him. I think, however, he will admit that in asking for an adjournment of the debate until to-morrow to give us an opportunity of leading a report of his speech, and pf dealing with his remarks as they deserve, we are not requiring a concession beyond what is customary on occasions such as the present.


Mr Watson - I have no objection to an adjournment of the debate until tomorrow.


Mr SPEAKER - Is it the pleasure of the House that the honorable and learned member for Ballarat have leave to continue his speech to-morrow?

Honorable, Members. - Hear, hear.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Deakin) adjourned.







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