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Wednesday, 15 November 1905

Senator TURLEY (Queensland) - As one who regrets what took place yesterday, I desire to say a few words on this motion. I think it will be admitted that I was a very consistent supporter of the Government. I voted with them in every division taken, with the exception of that on the motion that progress be reported. I did not vote with them against that motion, because I believed, as I believe now, that there was an understanding, known to every member of the Senate, that after certain business had been done the Senate would adjourn. It is a matter of indifference to me how honorablesenators opposite choose to conduct their business. If I were in opposition I should conduct the business in my own way. If in their view clause 5 was of most importance they were right in occupying time in the discussion of it. The fact remains that at twenty minutes to 12 o'clock last night clause 10 had been passed, and, as I understood it, the understanding with honorable senators opposite had been fulfilled. I naturally thought the Senate would then adjourn. We subsequently heard that honorable senators had missed their trains. I have no sympathy with the talk about the missing of trains when there is a question of adhering to an understanding. I live in the suburbs of Melbourne myself, and it does not matter to me whether a cab is provided to take me home or not. I have occupied a seat in the Queensland Parliament for a number of years, and I know that when we sat until 2, 3, or 4 o'clock in the morning on successive days, we got home in the best way we could or we camped on the seats in the chamber until the morning, when we could get home with some convenience. I think that is the best system to adopt.

Senator de Largie - How high-spirited they are in Queensland.

Senator TURLEY - I do not claim that they are any more high-spirited there than are people in other places. I mention a mere matter of fact. For a very long time the party to which I belonged were in opposition, and they were prepared to carry out the work before them at all hazards. I admit that honorable senators opposite ran away last night. If I had been on their side I should have objected to that. I should have urged that they ought to go right on when there was work to be done. That, however, is a matter for their own consideration. The reason I took the course I did is that I object to play into the hands of honorable senators opposite by creating for them a considerable amount of sympathy in the minds of the outside public on the score that they have not been fairly treated. I know how this kind of thing reacts. When the party to which I belonged were treated unjustly they received the sympathy of the outside public, because they believed that we had not been fairly treated. I object to do anything which will play into the hands of honorable senators opposite by enabling them to go outside and complain that they have been unfairly treated, and that, in consequence, the Bill has been passed without sufficient consideration. I have camped in the Queensland Parliament House for two or three days and nights am end, without any adjournment, because the party to which I belonged believed that the work in which they were engaged was absolutely necessary. The majority in power thought we were wrong, and they put us down, or passed us out, until the business in hand was carried through, when they graciously permitted us to come back again and take up other business. I contend that the unfair action of the dominant party in Queensland was responsible in a greater degree than anything else for the building up of the party to which I belonged in that State. It is because I realize that this is the result of unfair treatment that I object to allow honorable senators opposite to pose as martyrs, as I believe they are now able to do to some extent. If in future there is any understanding between different sides in the Senate, I hope it will be adhered to in the letter and in the spirit. Personally, I hope that mo such understanding will be made, but that honorable senators will recognise their duty to give their attendance in this chamber, and to see that the business of the country is carried on in a straightforward way.

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