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Tuesday, 28 November 1905


Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I wish to make a suggestion with a view to facilitate the transaction of business. We might not be in a position to-morrow to arrange for an early sitting on Thursday. Senator Playford will recollect that some requests have been made in connexion with the Bill. They will have to be submitted to another place, and will then perhaps have to be considered by us again. This may require an early sitting on Thursday. In the event of anything of the kind taking place, would it not be well to intimate now to members of the Senate that it may be necessary to meet at half-past 10 o'clock on Thursday morning? If that is not done, I am afraid the honorable senator will be in the same muddle on Thursday, because after the Bill is returned to another place he may have to ask the Senate to sit on Thursday morning, which we must remember is the last day of the month.

Senator CLEMONS(Tasmania).- We heard from Senator Playford the same kind of remark on Friday afternoon. I am afraid the honorable senator may tomorrow find that there will be some difficulty in arranging for a meeting of the Senate on Thursday morning. The honorable senator has not threatened the Senate, but he has used certain words, and apparently means them this time, to the effect that we may be asked to sit all to-morrow night. I point out that even though we should do so, it will not be certain that we shall conclude the business. All-night sittings do not, as a rule, expedite the transaction of business, and I therefore urge that, before the Senate adjournsnow, Senator Playford should make up his mind to make the ordinary provision necessary under the Standing Orders for a meeting of the Senate on Thursday morning. If he does that, he may not find it necessary to ask the Senate to sit all to-morrow night if he can see his way to conclude the business on Thursday morning. I deprecate all-night sittings, and I urge the honorable senator, whether we are to sit all tomorrow night or not, to make provision for a meeting of the Senate on Thursday morning.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - Iam always willing to do what I can to meet the convenience of honorable senators. We have made certain requests, and honorable senators must be aware that this Bill must be passed before the end of the month, if the public servants are to be paid their salaries at the usual time. Wednesday is the last day but one of the month. It is perfectly true, as pointed out by Sena- tors Symon and Clemons, that by meeting at 10 o'clock on Thursday, we might be able to pass the Bill by the time the House of Representatives meets, so that we could send it down to them. If we are not able to pass the Bill through on Wednesday night, I shall ask honorable senators to sit early on Thursday, if by so doing we can get the Bill through by the time the other House meets, but I shall ask honorable senators then to sit until we receive the Bill back from another place, and continuously until we have passed it. It must be passed on Thursday, or we shall inconvenience thousands of people throughout the Commonwealth who will not have their- salaries paid at the usual time. I ask honorable senators to help me to-morrow to, if possible, pass the Bill through, and prevent our having to sit on Thursday morning. If that is not found to be possible, I shall make such provision as may be necessary to enable us to sit an hour or two on Thursday morning to deal with the matter.

Question resolved in the affirmative.







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