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Saturday, 21 December 1912

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - Ifno other honorable senator has any further remarks to offer on the motion I should like to say a word. I am told that my voice is failing, I can scarcely believe it. I think that the difficulty is that Senator Stewart is getting too old. Consequentlyhis hearing is bad, or else he has lethis hair grow too long. For any of these things I am not accountable. When the message was read, I had no intimation as to the course of action I should take.I interfered out of deference to the mover in another place, who is a particular friend of mine. I waited to see whether any honorable senator from Queensland would take the question up. It will be" recollected also that when I rose, I asked leave of the House to submit my motion, because I had no right to move such a motion without leave. Then when Senators Givens and Stewart rose in their wrath, I asked leave to withdraw the motion in order that the business might be transferred tothem. But the Leader of the Opposition saw fit to object to that, as he had a perfect right to do.

Senator Guthrie - To support the Government.

Senator McGREGOR - I do not think the honorable senator would like me to praise the actionof the Government. I took, the action in good faith, because no one else seemed to be willing to take charge of the matter. I should be prepared to withdraw my motion now, if the Leader of the Opposition will permit me to do so, and let Senator Givens, Senator Stewart, Senator Chataway, Senator St. Ledger, or any other member of the Senate take the matter up. It has nothing to do with me. I should like, sir, to ask what will happen if my motion is negatived.

The PRESIDENT - If the motion is negatived, the business will lapse. The Standing Orders distinctly provide that the Senate shall fix a future time for the consideration of a message.

Senator McGREGOR - I do not think that the end of the world will come any sooner if the motion is negatived. Although" I shall vote for the motion, because I have moved it, I shall not be offended if no other member of the Senate votes for it. I have done my best in the matter.

Question resolved in the negative.

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