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Friday, 17 August 1906

The PRESIDENT - I ask the honorable senator not to discuss that Bill.

Senator Col NEILD - I was led away by an interjection, sir. It would be very much better for Senator Playford to secure for the consideration of Government business the time which is reserved for the consideration of private business, as his colleagues have done elsewhere, than to ask honorable senators to make the sacrifice of attending on an additional day. Perhaps my objection does not apply to those who live in Melbourne, and have rio engagements here, but I take it that it applies to Victorian senators who have engage ments on Tuesdays. Certainly it applies to the senators from South Australia and New South Wales ; therefore one-half of the Senate is materially interested in this demand for an additional day. If we are simply to debate propositions on Thursday afternoons, when we are actually alleging that the urgency of public business requires the giving up of a further day, I do not think that it augurs very much for the commonsense of the Senate. The other House, with double our membership, and certainly with a|ri equal power of oratory, can get through with its business in four days a week, but we, with less than half its membership, were asked to devote as much time to legislative work.

Senator Guthrie - The other House has been sitting on four days a week throughout the session ; we have not.

Senator Col NEILD - If the Minister were to adopt my suggestion, it would be very much more to the public interest as it would provide for the .continuity of Government business on three days a week, and avoid having a paltry attendance on the Tuesday, and an interruption in the middle of the week for the discussion of academical propositions. For those reasons, I oppose the motion*.

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