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Friday, 24 November 1905

Senator HIGGS (Queensland) - I think that the Minister might well give us until Wednesday next to deal with the Bill. Hitherto only one request has been agreed to, and it is extremely probable that there will be few, if any, others, so that the other Chamber need not take long in dealing with' the measure, which can be passed on the 30th, in ample time to insure all that is necessary being done.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - I am informed that if the Bill is not passed until Wednesday, there will not be ample time to inform officers in outlying places that the usual payments may be made on the 1st of next month. There would be no inconvenience so far as officers in the cities and towns connected with Melbourne by telegraph are concerned.

Senator de Largie - The Bill ought to have been brought before us earlier.

Senator Mulcahy - Why should we not sit on, now?

Senator PLAYFORD - There is hardly a quorum present, and I have promised honorable senators to allow them to catch their trains, a promise which I cannot break. It is impossible for me to compel the Senate to do what it does not wish to do. Probably, if we can get the Bill down to the other House before the conclusion of Wednesday's sitting, the necessary arrangements may be made! in time, tout if I can induce the Senate to pass the Bill on Tuesday night, I shall be extremely pleased, In any case, I must bow to the will of honorable senators. I ask them to be prepared to sit late on Tuesday, but it is for them to say whether they will do so. I make the request, because I do not wish to inconvenience the public servants of the Commonwealth.

They expect to be paid on the 1st of the month, and we ought to be prepared to pay them then. It is only officers in outlying parts who will suffer if 'any delay occurs, and I think that they should be given the same consideration as officers elsewhere.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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