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Friday, 26 September 1913

Senator MAUGHAN (Queensland) . - As a new member of the Senate, I must express my astonishment that the honorable and gallant colonel who has just resumed his seat should have become so excited over a little matter. In view of his exhibition, I shall certainly be apprehensive, should the time ever arrive when he is called upon to lead troops against an invading force, because it is an axiom in military campaigning that one needs to keep cool under fire. I realize, therefore, that even the honorable senator could hardly be regarded as a fitting example in this respect to the rank and file. But my main object in rising is to indorse, to a very large extent, the remarks which have been made by my colleagues on the front Opposition bench concerning certain misstatements as to the status and general conduct of members of the Opposition in this Chamber. One would imagine that the twenty-nine Labour senators had no right to be here. One would think that the electors who had sent them here had committed a dreadful crime. May I point out that we are not responsible for what the States may do. If the States in their wisdom decide in a constitutional way that they will be represented by Labour senators, we will represent them. If I do not misjudge affairs in the Commonwealth, in the event of another appeal to the people, the Labour party in this Chamber will come back stronger than ever. As a new member, I note with regret the attitude adopted by certain political veterans in the matter of belittling this great institution, the Senate. On every conceivable occasion certain gentlemen in another place, as well as here, persist in attempting to belittle this Chamber. I think it is absolutely undignified on their part to do anything of the sort. I, of course, can quite understand what some honorable gentlemen have in view. As a matter of fact, they do not like the idea of the Senate being elected as it is.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Is that really pertinent to the question of suspending the Standing Orders ?

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