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Wednesday, 1 August 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - Before the question is put, I should like to point out to honorable senators the importance that attaches to the motion for the ratification of this contract. Notice was given on the last day of sitting that it would come up for consideration as the first matter to be dealt with .this afternoon.

The PRESIDENT - I do not think that the honorable senator is entitled to speak to the motion for the adjournment of the debate.

Senator KEATING - Bv leave of the Senate, I should like to state that it is important that this matter should be dealt with at the earliest possible moment. For that reason it has been put in the forefront of the Government business on the notice-paper. I ask honorable senators to take this circumstance into consideration in connexion with the proposal for the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to; debate adjourned.

The PRESIDENT - Do I understand that Senator Keating accepts the suggestion that the discussion of the matter should be referred to the Committee of the Whole?

Senator Keating - I am not prepared to move that.

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