Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Tuesday, 14 November 1905

Senator PLAYFORD (South AustraliaMinister of Defence) - No. We have lost our trains now, Hind may as well go on. I made a promise contingent on clause 10 being dealt with by a definite time, and that time has been exceeded.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia). - I never heard a word about such a promise. Is the Minister going to . commita gross breach of faith?

Senator Lt Col; Gould - A scandalous breach of faith !

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - The Minister came over to me, and said that he wanted to get as far as clause 10. He never said a word about any hour. I shortened my remarks, and moved no amendment subsequent to clause 7, in order that the Minister might be enabled to get as far as clause 10. I say with great pain that if he does adopt the course which he threatens he will be committing a gross breach of faith with the Senate and honorable senators on this side. I ask him not to allow himself to do a thing of that kind. He cannot deny that he came over to me ait the dinner adjournment, and said that he wished to get as far as clause 10, and I told him that I would do anything I could to help him. He never said a word about reaching clause 10 by 11 o'clock - not a single word.

Senator Playford - I said in time to catch our trains.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - The honorable senator never said a word about catching trains. All I can say is that if the Minister does what he threatens we shall know that we cannot take the word of a Minister in this Senate.

Senator Story - The opponents' of the Bill have not treated him fairly.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - We have treated him absolutely fairly. He cannot deny what I have said. Senator Pulsford went away with the understanding that no amendment would be moved as soon as we had got past clause 7, which we regarded as the vital clause of the Bill. Senator Gray also intended to go, as he was tired with last night's travelling.

Senator Story - Honorable senators should not have wasted so much time this afternoon.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - We have wasted no time. If we are not to deal with these matters in a reasonable way we should not be here at all.

Senator Story - They have been dealt with unreasonably.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - We are sent here to do our duty to our constituents, and we should fail in that if we did not discuss such matters. What is the good of the honorable senator, who never takes an intelligent share in the business of the Chamber, talking in that way ? I am not going to impute that Senator Playford would do such a thing, because his reputation is against it ; but I ask him to corroborate my statement, that at the dinner adjournment he came over to me and said that he was going on as far as clause 10, that I told him f would assist him, and that he never said a word about 11 o'clock, or any hour. On the faith of that assurance, we have not moved a single amendment in certain clauses. Senator Pulsford told me that he had a number of amendments to move between clause 7 and clause 10, and I suggested that he had better not move them. That is the attitude we took, and he has gone away.

Senator Lt.-Col.GOULD (New South Wales). - Within the last half -hour, Senator Playford has said that he would go as far as clause 10 to-night. He knows that after the vital amendment moved by Senator Symon was defeated no amendment in the remaining clauses; was proposed. It would be very much better on the Minister's part to let honorable senators separate in an ordinary frame of mind, because if any unfair proceeding be taken it will only give rise to a lot of disagreement and unpleasantness.

Senator PEARCE(Western Australia).There is another side of this picture to be exhibited. Honorable senators on the Oppo.sition benches have only to walk to their hotels, but some of us live in the suburbs, and owing to their action we shall have to hire cabs in order to reach our homes.

Senator Keating - They have had their eyes on the clock, too.

Suggest corrections