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Friday, 5 October 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - It appears to me that it is time for the Senate to show that it is not prepared to sit indefinitely to deal with minor matters, when urgent ones are making very heavy demands upon our time. It would have been different if the Government had definitely stated what business they proposed to complete before the prorogation, and what measures on the notice-paper of each House they would be content to leave over until next session. So far as we can judge from their acts, the only conclusion we can come to is that they will keep on bringing in measures as long as the Senate is content to sit and deal with them. Until they announce that it is not intended to bring forward the measures which are being dealt with elsewhere, we have a right to assume that they do propose to ask the Senate to consider them at a later period. The time has arrived for the Senate, if it is of my opinion, to clearly intimate that it is not prepared to continue the session for the purpose of dealing with matters, the urgency of which has' not been shown. I ask honorable senators - and it can be done without any hostility to the Government - to say clearly that they are not prepared to leave the way open for them to continually bring in day after day the multiplicity of Bills with which we are threatened.I believe that two or three fresh Bills were sent up yesterday ; another Bill has been sent up today. and, if I canjudge from the reports in the press, there is a possibility of seeing the Senate presented every day next week with a fresh measure. It will not be possible for the Senate to deal with all the measures. We have a right to know from the Government which measures they intend to push forward, and which they are prepared to jettison. Until they make a plain business-like statement, the only course open to us is to protest against the introduction of every new measure.

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