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Thursday, 30 August 1906


Senator HIGGS (Queensland) . - I regret to have to bring under the notice of the Senate, at this late hour, the replies of the Government to questions asked in regard to reports of the Tariff Commission. Six members of Parliament are members of the Commission, and if they are called upon to continue to furnish progress reports, they must neglect their current political duties. I think, therefore, that the Government should take the responsibility of saying whether it will or will not deal with further reports. If it says that it cannot dead with further reports, because the length of the session will not give an opportunity to do so, the Commission will be able to suspend its labours, and give its members time to attend to their parliamentaryduties. But if the Government is prepared to deal with further reports, the Commission must go on considering evidence and preparing recommendations. If the Ministry cannot deal with any more reports this session, the Commission and the public ought to know it. I do not ask the Minister of Defence to give me a reply now; but I hope that he will consult his colleagues, and let us know what is determined. When I speak of dealing with the reports, I refer to the bringing forward of proposals for submission to the two Houses of this Parliament.







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