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Thursday, 23 June 1904

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Prime Minister did express the desire last night that the debate should terminate to-night, and I, by saying " Hear, hear," expressed the same desire. I have that desire now, and am perfectly ready for a division, if honorable members who have not spoken will give way.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not say that they should. The Prime Minister must remember that if honorable members on this side are to give way, there must be a corresponding abstention from speaking by his own supporters ; but I find that most of the time to-night has been occupied by Government supporters.

Mr Watson - Only one Government supporter has spoken.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have a list of the names of those who have spoken, and of the times which they occupied. The honorable gentleman must not cast upon members on this side of the Chamber the responsibility for occupying time unduly, nor should he, under the circumstances, try to force the debate to a conclusion by sitting beyond the usual hour. In spite of the strong criticism of a proposal which I put forward, I have refrained from speaking to-day, in order that the matter might come to a 'division if possible. If a division is not taken to-night it will be more largely the fault of the supporters of the Government than of the members of the Opposition.'

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