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Thursday, 30 August 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - In answer to the inquiry as to what business it is intended to take when we meet again to-day, I have to state that we shall proceed first with the Constitution Alteration (Senate Elections) Bill. Afterwards the Appropriation (Works and Buildings) Bill will be dealt with. In the afternoon I have promised to give Senator Mulcahy an opportunity to bring forward his motion relating to the Commerce Act.

Senator Millen - I hope that the Government will arrange to, adjourn at a morereasonable hour.

Senator PLAYFORD - It is not my fault that we are not adjourning at a reasonable hour this morning. As to the question put to me by Senator Higgs, I will bring the matter under the notice of my colleagues. But I desire to point out that the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the Tariff is quite independent of the Government - absolutely independent of us in every way. I do not know whether it would be right for us to interfere with the actions of _ the Commission.It was appointed for a specific purpose, to inquire into a certain subject, and report. It is for the members of the Commission to bring their reports before the Governor-General.As to the statement of Senator Millen that the Government is ahead of the Commission's reports, I think that he is altogether wrong. The matters brought before another place relating to the Tariff have in both instances, I believe, been the subject of reports by the Tariff Commission.

Senator Millen - What about mining machinery ? ' The proposals of the Government in that respect have not been reported upon by the Commission.

Senator PLAYFORD - I shall not go into details, as I have not the particulars before me. I will bring the matter under the attention of my colleagues, but I think that the answer will be in the direction that I have indicated.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 2.32 a.m. (Friday).

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