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Thursday, 2 October 1913

Senator LONG (Tasmania) .- I join in the protest that has been made against the proposed, adjournment, while the Senate might very well proceed with business in its legitimate sphere. Like Senator O'Loghlin, I object to being brought from another State merely to sitfor a day or two ; but if an adjournment be necessary, then we should make it. for two or three weeks, or even a month.

Senator Millen -. - What does the honorable senator suggest?

Senator LONG - At present I am not acting as adviser to the Government, whose duty it is to arrange the business.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator is offering advice.

Senator LONG - I am offering a suggestion, which I do not think is unreasonable.

Senator Millen - It is so reasonable that I wish the honorable senator to amplify it a little.

Senator LONG - I can understand that the Minister, in his present plight, is willing to take advice from anybody. I should like to see the Government ask for an adjournment, if an adjournment is necessary, that would enable honorable senators from distant States to. have two or three weeks to attend to their own business.

Sitting suspended from 6.83 to 8 p.m. Senator MILLEN(New South WalesMinister of Defence) [8.1]. - I ask the attention of honorable senators for a few minutes, because what I have to say is dictated by a desire to consult entirely their convenience. The position which confronts the Senate is as well known to honorable senators on the other side as it is to myself and other members of the Government. Whether the course taken by the Government is right or wrong, they admit that it would be inexpedient to bring into the Senate measures which, in their judgment, ought first to be submitted to the other branch of the' Parliament. As- a result of that-r- a-' position which I have previously, disclosed to the Senate - it will necessarily follow, at any rate for a little time, that the businesspaper, so far as the Government are concerned, will be rather empty. In those circumstances, I recognise at once the very reasonable suggestion made by Senator CLoghlin in this matter. Whatever is the convenience of honorable senators, of which they themselves will be the fudges, the Government are only too willing to meet them. I have put forward the proposal that we should adjourn until the 15th instant, but if the general opinion is that it would meet the convenience of honorable senators better, or to a greater extent, I am quite willing to ask permission to alter the date to the 22nd instant.

Senator Pearce - Will you give an understanding that Ministers will not then go, out, into tie country and say that the long adjournments of the Senate are due to the Opposition?

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