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Thursday, 12 December 1912

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I will ask the Committee even at this late hour to reconsider the whole position. When Senator Lynch 's amendment was originally submitted, the Minister of Defence put forward views which induced me to oppose it. Those views hold ' good to-day. It appears to me to be carrying legislation of this kind to a ridiculous extent to insert such a stipulation. Although I recognise that an amendment upon the Senate's amendment was necessary, I recognise a'lso that we are up against a difficulty. We have either to accept the amendment of the House of Representatives, or to submit an alternative, but there is a way out of the difficulty, if we choose to take a little trouble. That would be by rejecting the amendment of the House of Representatives, which would enable us ultimately to eliminate Senator Lynch 's amendment altogether.

Senator Lynch - That would be a lovely thing to do !

Senator MILLEN - It would be a commonsense thing to do. I hold that the Senate made a mistake which will make us look extremely foolish, and we should do as much as possible to rectify it. I urge that we should reject the House of Representative's amendment with a view of bringing about an interchange of messages, and. if necessary, a conference, which would enable us to put ourselves in the position of rejecting the original amendment.

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