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Friday, 24 June 1904

Mr SPEAKER - The importance of the subject does not alter the fact that the Standing Orders prohibit any debate when asking a question. I, therefore, request the honorable" and learned member for' Ballarat not to offer an opinion upon the matter.

Mr DEAKIN - I am not intentionally trespassing in regard to the rule which governs the asking of questions.

Mr Willis - Move the adjournmentof the House.

Mr DEAKIN - I never do that. The matter should be discussed when we have, had time to read and consider the Public Service Commissioner's report. If there had been an opportunity to do that, I might- not hesitate about moving the adjournment. I ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of the very exceptional circumstances to which I have referred, he does not feel it necessary to afford honorable members an opportunity, when they shall have examined the report of the Commissioner - not with microscopic scrupulousness, but so as to grasp its broad principles - to discuss it in this Chamber? I do notask the question because of hostility to the scheme, since I do not know what it is, and have great confidence in its author, whom I believe to be one- of the ablest public men in the Commonwealth. Does not the Prime Minister consider, although the classification is now law, and could not be repealed or revoked except in formal fashion, that the House is entitled, as soon as the. state, of its business will permit, to a special opportunity to discuss this most important scheme ?

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