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Thursday, 15 August 1912

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia ') (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I agree with a great deal of what Senator Symon has said, but honorablesenators will understand that this amending Bill was introduced, with an amendment foreshadowed, for the purpose off increasing penalties. It has been found desirable to bring the clause with which we are dealing into uniformity with an amendment made in a previous clause. If honorable senators consult the original ' Bill, as amended, they will see that there will be no confusion. In discussing matters of this kind, it is very easy for a misunderstanding to arise. I think it appropriate for me to say a word or two now as to an incident that occurred yesterday. When dealing with Royal Commissions, I stated that Senator Clemons was in Hobart with the Tariff Commission, and acted as Chairman there. Senator Clemons, to the amusement of honorable senators opposite, said that he was not in Hobart with the Commission at all. They all laughed when he said that, like so many hyenas or jackasses. I do not wish to reflect on Senator Clemons, because I am sure that he honestly thought be was not in Hobart on the occasion to which I have referred. I take that for granted. But my reputation depends upon my memory, and I have consulted the proceedings of the Tariff Commission since the incident occurred. I find that Senator Clemons was Acting Chairman of the Commission when it sat in Hobart on the 9th, 10th, and nth August, 1905. He flatly contradicted me yesterday. I know that "he honestly believed that what I said was not accurate, but the records are against him. The sneering laugh that honorable senators opposite indulged in ought to be introspective now. They must laugh at themselves, if at all.

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