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Tuesday, 28 November 1911

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) - I move-

That the Senate do now adjourn.

I desire to take this opportunity to make a statement to honorable senators regarding the business which we hope to conclude in reasonable time before Christmas.

Senator Chataway - Who are " we"?

Senator McGREGOR - I do not include the Opposition, because they have done all they could to prevent the conclusion of business in that time. I think now, however, they are taking a different stand, and I am sure they will assist the Government in carrying out our intentions. The business yet to come before the Senate includes the Commonwealth Bank Bill, the further consideration of the Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie Railway Bill, and a Bill to give the public servants of the Commonwealth the opportunity to bring any dispute or grievance they may have before the Arbitration Court. We are getting on very well with the Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie Railway Bill, and I make no accusation whatever against honorable senators opposite of any " stone wall " in this connexion. Then we have the Seamen's Compensation Bill which was passed by the House of Representatives in a few minutes, and should certainly not occupy us for more than an hour or two. Following that there are short measures dealing with private telephones, the creation of Commonwealth stock, the amending of the Act relating to the note issue, naval defence, and post and .telegraph rates. Then the Government have some announcement to make regarding their policy in the Northern Territory, the establishment of Commonwealth offices in London, and the Capital site, together with one or two other small matters. None of those measures, except the first three, should occupy any length of time; and we have three weeks before we need adjourn for Christmas. The progress of this week will be noted, and next week, if necessary, we shall meet in the forenoon, and on the following week on the Monday. I hope honorable senators opposite will give all the assistance they possibly can, for otherwise, it will be necessary to extend the session into next year. I am- not anxious to take a step of that kind; and I am sure that honorable senators opposite, if they expressed their minds honestly, would tell us that they have no desire to meet after Christmas, always providing, of course, that the work can be completed. T have only to say that if the Leader of the Opposition and his supporters find that the Minister of Defence or myself get a little irritable in our anxiety to make progress, they will excuse us, because I am sure that if they occupied our places they would exhibit the same desire for expedition.

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