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Wednesday, 9 November 1904

Mr BATCHELOR (Boothby) - I think that the request that progress be reported is a reasonable one. The Government have no right to complain of the progress made by us to-day.

Mr McLean - I am not complaining.

Mr BATCHELOR - There can be no reason for sitting beyond the hour at which it is usual to adjourn. The discussion of the question affecting the sugar industry certainly did not occupy more time than it was reasonable to expect.

Mr Kelly - Has not the honorable member already approved of these Estimates ?

Mr BATCHELOR - No; I approved of the Estimates of the Department of Home Affairs, butthe general Estimates were not considered by the Cabinet of which I was a member. I have not raised my voice in connexion with any item in the Estimates for the Department of Home Affairs, but I had not previously seen the Estimates now before the Committee. Some of the divisionsare of considerable importance. I had intended to make some remarks in regard to the statistical branch of the Department, but the division in which it is provided for, and several other important divisions, were passed hurriedly, while I was absent from the Chamber. The fact that we have had a long discussion on important matters of principle is not a good reason for extending the sitting beyond the usual hour.

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