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Wednesday, 18 July 1906

Senator CROFT (Western Australia) . - I desire to support the motion. I cannot understand why the representatives of the Government in the Senate are opposing it. We have the assurance of theMinister of Defence that he has adopted' the principle which the motion affirms.

Senator Playford - I asked honorable senators to adjourn the debate, in order to enable me to get necessary information, and they would not agree to do so.

Senator CROFT - The honorable senator has said that he believes in the principle of the motion, and applies it where he can, but he is not prepared to allow us to show that we also believe in that principle. If any one is to blame for Senator Higgs having brought forward this motion, it is theGovernment who have for so long delayed' bringing the Papua Act into operation. When the Minister first asked for an adjournment of the debate. I thought that it would have been wise to grant it, becausethe honorable senator explained that he desired to obtain information.

Senator Lt Col Gould .- -But the honorable senator voted against the adjournment.

Senator CROFT - I propose to say what 1 did, and also what the Minister did.

Senator Lt Col Gould - The honorable senator voted twice against the adjournment of the debate.

Senator CROFT - That will appear on the records, and it is therefore unnecessary for Senator Gould to refer to it.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Yet the honorable senator now says that he was in favour of the adjournment !

Senator CROFT - I did not say that I was in favour of it, but that I thought it would have been a good thing to give the Minister the adjournment he asked for.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Yet the hon- 01 able senator voted against it !

Senator Playford - Before the first division took place I had not said a word beyond moving the adjournment of the debate, and the honorable senator voted against me in that division.

Senator CROFT - Then the honorable senator protested that there should be an adjournment of the debate in order that he might be enabled to prepare himself on the question.

Senator Playford - The honorable senator voted against me before that.

Senator CROFT - I did, but when Senator Trenwith showed how little he also knew of the question I began to see that it was possible that the Minister might be able, if an adjournment of the debate were allowed, to secure some valuable information.

Senator Millen - A very convenient conversion.

Senator CROFT - I will show where the convenience was. When the Minister found that he could defeat the motion he refused to get the information for himself or for the Senate.

Senator Best - That was the force of bad example.

Senator CROFT - I am showing the insincerity of the Minister in the matter.

Senator Playford - The honorable senator's insincerity was quite as bad, because he voted against the adjournment of the debate when he believed that it should be adjourned.

Senator Millen - I remind the honorable senator of the fact that we desired an adjournment of the debate before dinner, in order that we might not be brought back, and having been brought back we are entitled to go on with the business.

Senator CROFT - There was no suggestion that honorable senators should not come back after the dinner adjournment.

There has been a strong prejudice against Australian-made goods', Australian foods, and the appointment of Australian's" to public positions, and if this motion is not carried I shall be disposed to regard those who vote against it as being just as prejudiced as people we're ten or twelve years ago against everything Australian. In the circumstances, the attitude of the Government is, I think, a remarkable one. The Minister says that he believes in the principle of the' motion, tout he will not allow us to say that we believe in it in its wording.

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