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Wednesday, 20 December 1905

The PRESIDENT - I think that the time is one month.

Senator GUTHRIE - Perhaps I was wrong in saying that the time was two months, but, in my opinion, it is a very reasonable period to fix. What is the general course adopted? Very often before the bound volumes of the papers have been issued three months have elapsed. Last year they were not distributed to honorable senators until nearly four months from the date of prorogation.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator will see that if the period is increased to two months the issue of the Blue Books will be postponed by another month. It takes a considerable time to prepare and bind the volumes, and the honorable senator will get the papers in the ordinary course of post.

Senator Playford - If the Royal Commission sends in a report the honorable senator will receive a copy, together with the evidence quite apart from the bound volumes.

Senator GUTHRIE - I think that the Minister is wrong, because the rule is not to distribute the report of a Royal Commission until it has been laid upon the table.

Senator Playford - No; the reports are distributed in recess.

Senator GUTHRIE - I am anxious that the report shall be placed in the hands of honorable senators before the re-assembling of Parliament. If the resolution of the Senate is that all papers which are in the hands of the Government within two months from the date of prorogation have to be included in the bound volumes, certainly they will be distributed. I hope that we shall receive the report of two Commissions within that time.

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