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Tuesday, 13 September 1904

Mr SPEAKER - I understand the honorable member for Hume to be explaining the reasons why he desired the honorable member for Barrier to call attention to the state of the House on Friday last. So long as he confines himself to such' reasons, he will be in order.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - That is exactly what I was doing. The leader of the Government, as soon as he heard that I was about to speak, took the opportunity to walk out of the Chamber, and he remained away during the whole of the time that I was speaking.

Mr Reid - I really must object to these statements.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The front Government benches were empty during nearly the whole of the time that I was speaking.

Sir John Forrest - So were the Opposition benches.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - It was not so with the Opposition benches. Putting aside my personal feelings in the matter, I say that such conduct was disrespectful to the House. I had not much to say after the luncheon adjournment, and would not have taken more than about twenty minutes to concludemy speech.

Mr Reid - The honorable member's leader was also absent from the Chamber.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I felt that in justice to the importance of the subject, and to myself, the leader of the Government should have been present in the House, instead of being at the other end of the building, as I understand he was. My object was, not to count 'out the House, but to bring other members into the Chamber. I regret that the House was counted out; but I could not help it. My object was to compel the 'members who sit on the Government side of the Chamber to attend to their duties.

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