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Tuesday, 14 November 1905

Senator STORY - They announced their intent, if possible, to prevent the passage of the Bill. The whole of the business done that day was really done in the last half -hour of the sitting. The whole of the day having been wasted by the Opposition, the leader of the Government now proposes to do business. We have now missed our trains, and may as well proceed with the Bill. I resent the statement of Senator Symon, who, in reply to an interjection by me, stated that I had not taken an' intelligent interest in the Bill. I claim to have taken quite as intelligent an interest in the measure as has, Senator Symon himself.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - What I said was in reference to an interjection by you.

Senator STORY - I may not talk as much as, does Senator Symon, but I do not know that that is altogether a disadvantage. At anyrate, Senator Symon has talked a great deal upon what appeared1 to me to be very unimportant subjects. The learned senator possesses, to a larger extent than most honorable senators, the ability to make a long speech on practically nothing.

The CHAIRMAN - The question before the Committee is clause 11.

Senator STORY - I am addressing myself as well as I can to the clause, and endeavouring to explain that Itake quite as intelligent an interest in the Bill as does Senator Symon. It is unfair for members of the Opposition to harass and delay the business of the Government during the whole of the day.

Senator Mulcahy - Do not say that the Opposition have been unfair ; this is a most important Bill.

Senator STORY - It is transparent that the Oppositionhavedone what I say,. Members of the Opposition have expressed their determination to use every means to defeat the Bill.

Senator Gray - Who saidso?

Senator STORY - Senator Gray amongst others, said so.

Senator Gray - To whom?

Senator STORY - The honorable senator has been talking against time the whole of the afternoon.

Senator Gray - I have not spoken two hours on the Bill since it was introduced.

Senator STORY - The object of the Opposition is to insert as, many amendments as possible, with the intention that when the measure is sent to another place-

The CHAIRMAN - I must ask the honorable senator to deal with the clause before the Committee.

Senator STORY - Idesire to encourage the leader of the Government in his determination to pass the Bill through Committee.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia). - If Senator Story feels at all hurt by my remark, which was in answer to an interjection by him, and not in regard to the measure itself, I express my regret, and at once withdraw it. I should be exceedingly sorry if any personal feeling were generated, over this matter, because I see no occasion for it. I spoke very emphatically on the subject, and related exactly what took place, on the faith of which, as leader of the Opposition, I acted in sending my supporters away, and in inducing them not to move a series of amendments on the intervening clauses between clauses 7 and 10. If Senator Playford still adheres to the view he has expressed, and prefers not to give to-morrow to the consideration of the remainder of the Bill, as was intended, I shall make no further comment. I should like, however, to appeal to honorable senators whether I am being placed in quite a fair position ? I can only express my regret if, through any inadvertence, inconvenience has been caused to any person, but as I have explained, I did all I could, in order that all the clauses up to clause 10 might be dealt with. I have no desire to take the step, but if Senator Playford does not wish to do so, it is quite openfor me to move that progress be reported. If honorable senators wish to put me in that very difficult position, I cannot help it. I think, however, honorable senatorswill be more generous, and that, under the circumstances, Senator Playford will not adhere to his decision. If Senator Playford feels, however, that he ought to pass the Bill through Committee, I shall' ask honorable senators, on a motion to report progress, to say whether I shall be relieved from the position to which I have referred.

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