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Thursday, 14 November 1912

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - Before the Orders of the Day are called, I beg to move -

That the Senate at its rising adjourn till Wednesday next.

My reason for submitting this motion may be fairly well known to some honorable senators. In another . place there has been a prolonged sitting, which is likely to continue, and we have only a limited number of Hansard reporters. I am sure that every honorable senator, and' the members of another place, must acknowledge that the members of the Hansard staff have carried out their duties efficiently ever since the establishment of the Commonwealth, and are really experts in their: work. But continuous work such as they have had for the last twenty-four hours is> impossible for the physical strength of any) set of men to stand, and the reporters are.beginning to breakdown.

Senator Rae - They want relays.

Senator McGREGOR - Of course,, the honorable senator will , recognise that to meet every emergency of that description the Hansard, staff would require to be doubled, and we should have to maintain that expenditure fur the whole year. I think that honorable senators will admit, if they scan the notice-paper of the Senate, that we have worked very well up to the present time, and that it would not be economical to double an efficient staff such as we have at present. The only serious objection that can be raised to the proposed adjournment is with respect to private business. I have already stated - and I think that it may be safely left to the future - that we may have a day or two to spare. I shall give a sufficient intimation to honorable senators when that time arrives to enable them to so arrange their business on the notice-paper that it may be taken in the daytime as well as in the evening. With that assurance I feel sure that those who have private business on the notice-paper will agree with me that it is only a humane act to submit this motion. I anticipate very little opposition, because it would be far better not to make such a proposal if time is to be taken up in discussing it. That would put a further burden upon those who have no chance of evading it. Honorable senators know that both in another place and here a member can go out when he chooses and have a spell, but a member of the Hansard staff must stick to his duty till- he drops. I am sure that no honorable senator or anybody else desires to make that burden so heavy that it would be an undue physical strain upon the men who are in the Service.

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