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Thursday, 23 August 1906

The PRESIDENT - The Minister has replied.

Senator Playford - I am perfectly willing to allow discussion to go on.

The PRESIDENT - A senator who proposes a motion has the right of reply, but he cannot speak again unless some amendment has been moved.

Senator Millen - Senator Playford rose while Senator Clemons was still speaking, and he can hardly be said to have spoken in reply.

The PRESIDENT - Strictly speaking, according to the Standing Orders, the debate has finished, but if any one has been misled through Senator Playford speaking before the debate was really finished, I will allow it to be reopened.

Senator O'KEEFE - I wish to say that yesterday, through not wishing to interpose to disturb the harmonious relations that existed, I made no strong objection to what was being done with regard to the Judiciary Bill. I was partly instrumental in leading Senator Clemons to believe that the Australian Industries Preservation Bill would be proceeded with, and that no other business would be brought on until that had been completed. Arrangements were made between Senator Clemons and my self, which did not necessitate his attendance here during the progress of that measure. Yet we are told that because the leader of the Opposition in another place, and the leader of the Opposition here, expressed a wish-

Senator Playford - I do not say that the leader of the Opposition here expressed any wish. I told him what I proposed to do, and asked him whether he saw any objection, and he saw none. It is usual and courteous on the part of the representative of the Government to, as far as possible, consult the leader of the Opposition in regard to the conduct of business.

Senator O'KEEFE - No doubtthe leader of the Opposition would consent to the proposition made by the representative of the Government ; but it seems to me that there was another consideration quite as important, namely, the understanding which had been arrived at previously.It is all very well for the leader of the Opposition in another place to appear just when he chooses, and upset arrangements which have been made not only in another place, but in this Chamber.

Senator Playford - The leader of the Opposition in another place did not upset any arrangement.

Senator O'KEEFE - There was a re- quest made by the leader of the Opposition in another place that the Judiciary

Bill should be hurried on, though he did hot give the slightest shadow of a reason for urgency, or for that measure being interposed during the progress of the Australian Industries Preservation Bill.

Senator Playford - I gave -due notice the day before.

Senator O'KEEFE - But it was then too late to give notice, considering that senators had made arrangements on ' the faith of the understanding that had been arrived at. I am quite satisfied that the Minister of Defence had no intention to put honorable senators to any inconvenience ; but, at the same time, it does not seem quite right that, simply because the leader of the Opposition, in another place, expressed a wish, a previous arrangement should be upset, and the members of the Senate put to inconvenience.

Senator Pulsford - I do not think that Mr. Reid made any request that would justify honorable senators taking up the position they have.

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