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Friday, 4 November 1904

Sir GEORGE TURNER (Balaclava) (Treasurer) . - I would point out to honorable members that, no matter what our private feelings may be, it is our duty to the public to pass the Estimates. There is a large number of public works to be carried out, and I have already strained my advance vote to meet necessary expenditure. I do not object to the criticism which Ave have heard, and to enable the matter to be dealt Avith now, I move -

That the consideration of the Orders of the Day be postponed until after the completion of the debate just interrupted.

Mr. McDONALD(Kennedy).- I point out that there are a number of important measures, such as the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Bill, among the orders of the day which the House might very well deal with now, instead of postponing them indefinitely. There is also the Manufactures Encouragement Bill, inwhich the honorable member for Eden-Monaro is so interested, and of which most honorable members, with the exception of the Prime Minister and myself, and a few others, are in favour. Another important measure is the Fraudulent Trade Marks Bill which has been sent to us by the Senate. That body is beginning to feel that we are not desirous of dealing with measures sent to us by them, and we should do nothing to encourage that feeling. We should let the Senate understand that we are very wishful to consider such measures. If the Government do not try to conciliate the Senate - I give them this advice in all friendliness - they may refuse to pass the Appropriation Bill, which would create antagonism between the Houses, and the Government are already in a minority in the Senate in regard to certain matters. The resumption of the consideration of Ways and Means in Committee is another order of the day which might be dealt with. According to the last returns, our revenue is falling month by month, so that it is only a matter of a short time when we shall not be able to return to the States even the three-fourths required to be returned by the Constitution. That is a very serious matter, about which all the present States Treasurers are much concerned, and it will have to be faced at an early date. The Government might therefore give us some information as to what they intend to do in regard to it. We might very well postpone the resumption of the consideration of the Estimates until next week, when we can make a fair start, and go straight on, and to-day, in the few hours which are left to us, dispose of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Bill, which we might possibly pass this afternoon. The Treasurer, in moving the postponement of the orders of the day, should have explained to us much more fully the reasons why he made such a motion. I urge him to withdraw it, so that we may proceed with the consideration of the business upon the paper, and I am sure that in making this request I shall be supported by the honorable member for Eden-Monaro and the right honorable member for Swan.

I understand that the right honorable member for Swan desires to get away for a few days, and if the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Bill is not proceeded with to-day it will probably be dealt with in his absence. The Government should show some consideration for their supporters. I propose to get into close communication with the honorable member for Eden-Monaro, with a view to ascertain the way in which two honorable members can bring about a dissolution.

Mr Reid - I would ask whether the remark of the honorable member with regard to getting into close communication with the honorable member for Eden-Monaro with a view to bringing about a dissolution is relevant ?

Mr SPEAKER - The remark to which the right honorable gentleman has raised an objection is not relevant.

Mr McDONALD - I shall not give the Prime Minister much further cause for irritation. I desire to enter my most emphatic protest against the postponement of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Bill, and I cannot understand why the right honorable member for Swan does not exert his influence with the Government in order to have the Bill disposed of as quickly as possible. The right honorable gentleman accused the members of the Labour Partv of delaying the passing of the measure by bringing forward a no-confidence motion, but now, when he is in a position to bring pressure to bear upon the Government, he is content to sit silent. I can only come to the conclusion that the right honorable gentleman is not so sincere as he would have honorable members believe. I am not here to champion the Bill, but am content to continue to play the part of humble follower of the right honorable member for Swan in regard to the measure. The honorable member for Eden-Monaro should press the claims of the Manufactures Encouragement Bill. I do not know why he does not use his influence with the Government to inducethem to allow the Bill to be taken in its proper order on the noticepaper.

Mr Austin Chapman - Because some honorable members started to talk out the Bill.

Mr McDONALD - It is certainly not fair to suggest that any attempt wasmade by honorable members on this side of the House to talk out the Bill. I venture to say that if the Bill were proceeded with it would be passed without much difficulty.

I can only conclude from the inertness of the right honorable member for Swan, and the honorable member for Eden-Monaro, that they are not particularly anxious with regard ,to the measures in which they profess to be so greatly interested.

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