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Thursday, 11 August 1904

Mr KELLY (Wentworth) - I can assure the Prime Minister that I have no desire to add to the present embarrassments of the Government in any way. I merely wish to draw attention to the fact that when we were discussing the preference clause in Committee the honorable and learned member for Corio asked for an adjournment of the debate some time after 11 p.m. The Prime Minister thereupon replied -

We have been dealing with this clause for the past three days. That cannot be called burking discussion...... The principle underlying the clause was also discussed on the second reading debate, and upon other occasions, so that it is not asking too much to ask for a division to. night. However, I am prepared to adjourn upon the understanding that there will be a division to-morrow.

To-day, without taking into consideration the last two speakers, the Government supporters have occupied 280 minutes, and Opposition members only 78 minutes.

Mr McDonald - Why will not the Opposition speak?

Mr KELLY - It seems to me that, judging from the speeches of Government supporters, it is quite unnecessary for members of the Opposition to say anything upon this question. I only rose to point out that the Prime Minister's present attitude is considerably discounted by the attitude he took up in Committee on this same clause 48 when the numbers lay with him; and not with us.

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