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Friday, 8 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I am sure that the Senate will appreciate the reasons which have been assigned by the Vice-President of the Executive Council for the somewhat extraordinary course which is being adopted on the present occasion. I do not intend to raise any demur to the action proposed, because the Vice-President of the Executive Council did intimate to me early inthe day that, for the reason which he has given, he would feel it incumbentupon him to take this step. But I cannot refrain from expressing surprise that he should have interrupted the progress of business before the Bill which we have just been considering had been got out of the way. I understood him, to say that he expected the consideration of that measure to be completed before the Senate adjourned ; and I had given him an assurance that, so far as the Opposition were concerned, the discussion of it in its Committee stages would be very brief. Seeing that, owing to the state of public business, the Government may have to make extraordinary demands on our time next week inorder to terminate the session, I think that- the Vice-President of the Executive Council made a mistake in carrying that business over to next week. I would like to ask him whether he intends on Tuesday next to proceed first with the Arbitration (Public Service) Bill or with the Bank Bill?

Senator McGregor - With the Arbitration (Public Service) Bill..

Senator MILLEN - The consideration of that Bill would have been completed in a quarter of an hour if the VicePresident of the Executive Council had only hung on to it.

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