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Friday, 3 November 1905

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) -As special reference has been made to me by Senator Clemons. I may say that I made the interjection for which I have been chided, because, in my opinion, there was some assumption of virtuous indignation on the part of Senator Stewart, and also on the part of other honorable senators, who inform the country, through the press, that they are anxious to sit on Tuesday next. For many years " Cup Day " has been recognised as a public holiday .in Melbourne, and we must not forget that there are employed by the Federal Government a number of printers and others who have hitherto never been asked to work on that day, and who do not necessarily find their amusement at the race meeting. If we recognise the principle that prominent public holidays,, such as the King's Birthday, and so forth, should be observed, I see no necessity to make an exception on the present occasion. Although I intend to vote for adjourning over Tuesday next, I think I can claim quite as good a record for attendance as, for example, Senator Stewart, who would make it appear that honorable senators are unwilling to carry out their duties. I am prepared to attend on Tuesday next if it be shown that that course is absolutely necessary ; but my own opinion is that the work of the session will not suffer by our adjourning. It ,isi well known Chat the Government make this proposal in order to meet the convenience of the large majority of honorable senators; and I do not see any justification for the remarks of Senator Clemons in reference to the leader of the Chamber. I shall vote for the motion, as other honorable senators will do if they are honest.

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