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Thursday, 11 August 1904


Mr WATSON (Bland) (Treasurer) .The Government have no desire to prolong the debate unduly. It is a fact that this evening the right honorable member for East Sydney made a most insulting insinuation in this connexion, and one which I resent. At the same time, the Government would not be justified upon an occasion of this sort in attempting to close the mouths of honorable members sitting behind them.


Mr Conroy - It is just a little too early to adjourn.


Mr WATSON - I do not think so. We have to reassemble at half -past ten o'clock to-morrow morning, and I do not suppose that all honorable members possess the physique of the honorable and learned member.


Mr Poynton - It is quite refreshing to see all the members of the Opposition present.


Mr WATSON - I admit that that is rather unusual ; but I suppose they think that the end justifies the means. The Government fee] that it is their duty to facilitate the delivery of any remarks which their supporters may desire to make. The present is an important occasion, and I do not think that honorable members opposite can take the slightest exception to a reasonable statement of the views of Ministerial supporters upon this subject. The procedure which has been adopted on the present occasion very considerably limits the scope of the debate, so that honorable members cannot make very long speeches. For that reason we need not fear that the discussion will be unduly prolonged.


Mr Kelly - Will the Prime Minister promise to close the debate to-morrow ?


Mr WATSON - I shall not attempt to close it before all those honorable members who desire to speak have had an opportunity of addressing themselves to this. question. I have asked Government supporters to curtail their remarks as far as they possibly can, with a view to bringing tHe debate to a close as early as possible.







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