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Friday, 28 October 1904

Mr McWILLIAMS (Franklin) - Under the impression that no business would be done on Tuesday next, I arranged to take advantage of one of the very rare opportunities presented' to me to return to my home for a few days. Apart from that, however, I have great sympathy with the honorable member for Melbourne Ports. I do not think that it is right to' expect honorable members, who would feel inclined to attend here on Cup Day, to go on with the business in a very thin House. I think, however, that the Government should consider the propriety of following the course adopted by the States Parliaments, towards the close of a session, by asking honorable members to meet in the mornings, in order to get on with business.

Mr Batchelor - What is the use of meeting before the trains arrive?

Mr McWILLIAMS - That is all very well from the point of view of those honorable members who are able to return to their homes at the week end. But I think that some consideration is due to the representatives of the distant States, who are denied that privilege. It is not at all to our credit that we should have been sitting here for nearly nine months, and that we should now postpone until next session the consideration of such important questions as that of preferential trade, because we have not time to discuss them within the. limited" period between now and the end of the year. I hope that the Govern ment will consider the desirability of asking honorable members to meet in. the mornings of at least some of our sitting days.

Mr McCay - How are the Departments to be administered if that is done?

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