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Wednesday, 29 June 1949

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Leader of the Opposition) . - I am sorry that the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) did not give us some reason for the allotment of these times. I am not quarrelling with the proposition that the bill should be dealt with with appropriate' speed.

Mr Chifley - We want to have it passed by the Senate to-night.

Mr MENZIES - I understood from what had been said to me that the Government also desires us to complete the Post and Telegraphs Rates Bill to-night.

Mr Chifley - That is so. We also want to complete the passage of that bill to-night.

Mr MENZIES - I have not yet seen the bill which has just been presented by the Attorney-General (Dr. Evatt). It may be that the general debate on the bill to the second-reading stage should be allotted the bulk of the available time with a shorter period for the committee stage. I suggest that if the motion be carried now, and it turns out subsequently that, by common consent, the bill is regarded as one that can best be discussed in the second-reading debate and not in committee, the Prime Minister may be prepared to invite the House to make some redistribution of the time limit allotted. As I have not yet seen the hill I can raise this matter only in this way.

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