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Thursday, 4 October 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . - I understand that Senator Pearce wishes to exercise his right of reply, and I intend to do all in my power, as I have been trying to do during the afternoon, to secure to him that opportunity. It will noi be any news to honorable senators to hear that I intend to oppose the Bill. I wish to see a division taken, and I hope that Senator Pearce will see that the Senate shall get an opportunity of dividing on the Bill today.

Senator Pearce - Hear, hear.

Senator CLEMONS - This comprehensive Bill is generally regarded as being practically the outcome pf the Tobacco Monopoly Commission. It is a significant thing that one member of that body, Senator Keating, declined to sign either the majority or the minority report. So far as I can ascertain, there was _ no power, oral, postal, or telegraphic, which would induce Senator Keating to say "Yes" or "No" on the important question as to whether or not he was in favour of the nationalization of such a monopoly as the tobacco industry. I hope that Senator Pearce will take every precaution to insure that Senator Keating shall now be able to give to him, as well as to the rest of the Senate, the answer which he declined to give when he was a member of the Commission. That is. a special) reason why I want a division to be taken. It will also enable honorable senators to sort themselves into two camps, namely,, the earnt) of those who do not believe in the nationalization of industries, and the camp of those who hold that belief. That is. all I have to say on the matter.

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