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Tuesday, 17 February 1959

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HigginsTreasurer) - For the convenience of honorable members, I thought it would be useful if they had an indication of the business to be transacted over the next few weeks. For the fortnight commencing this week, the House will be engaged principally on the motion relating to the Address-in-Reply. Unfortunately, for reasons which I think are well-known to most honorable members, and as part of an undertaking given by the Government that it would arrange for a comprehensive review to be made of Commonwealth and State government financial relations, the only convenient time which could be found for all the Premiers and for the Commonwealth Government to stage that conference was in the first week of March. With problems of accommodation in this building and elsewhere in Canberra, it has been found necessary to adjourn the Parliament for that week in order that the conference may be conducted here. That adjournment may present a convenient opportunity for some of the committees of the Parliament to sit but that, of course, will be for those committees, themselves, to determine.

We shall then resume, and the principal business before the Parliament up to Easter will be the banking legislation. I expect that a second-reading speech will be made on the various banking bills before the House rises for the conference with the Premiers. Consideration of these bills will be the first business to be undertaken when the House resumes, and it is hoped that they will be passed before the Easter adjournment.

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