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Thursday, 20 October 1904

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The House should not be kept in the dark as to what business is likely to be taken, but if the Minister states as nearly as possible when certain business is likely to come on, I think that no honorable member can complain. I hope that the Minister of Defence, in replying, will say on behalf of the Government whether it is their intention to proceed with the Manufactures Encouragement Bill next week. I am sorry that the second reading was not carried tonight; but I do not think that we shall do much more than get into Committee tomorrow, and the consideration, of the measure in Committee will, I am afraid, occupy considerable time, because honorable members feel strongly upon several of its clauses.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is for the honorable member to say whether the Government will proceed with the Bill next week.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - As the Bill was prepared and introduced by me, I shall do nothing to block it.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has not the honorable member read the report in to-night's Herald, that .the Opposition are going to attack the Government next week?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - They have- a perfect right to do so, if they think fit. The honorable member for Parramatta was very unfair when he stated that the honorable member for Bourke tried to block the Bill.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I thought so at the time, and' I still think so.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - 1 know that the honorable member for Bourke is very anxious that it should pass. I am satisfied that he would not have, spoken so long as he did had it not been for the speech of' the Prime Minister, to which those who favour the Bill could scarcely listen without desiring to reply, seeing that he made so strong an attack upon it.

Mr. McCAY(Corinella - Minister of Defence). - In reply to the honorable member for Hume, I think that it will be better for the Prime Minister to make a general statement as to the course of business tomorrow morning, than for him to make a piece-meal statement through me. We shall, however, proceed with the Manufactures Encouragement Bill then. With regard to the adjournment of the debate on that Bill, I wish to explain that I at first objected to it because, as I mentioned last night, I think that the House could sit till at least eleven o'clock each evening. But as the honorable member for' Eden-Monaro, who is in charge of the Bill, and the honorable member for Bourke, who is speaking in support of it, both asked for an adjournment of the debate, there was no other course open for me but to agree to it. The next business on the paper was the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Bill, and as the hour was then 20 minutes to 11, if I had asked the House to proceed with the measure it would have been 11 o'clock before I should have heard one-fourth of the reasons which would have been urged for not going on with it. Therefore, in spite of some of the hard things which were said-

Mr Kennedy - The Ministry have not heard any hard things said yet.'

Mr McCAY - The honorable member for Wide Bay said a hard and very incorrect thing when he characterized our action as gagging.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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