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Thursday, 30 October 1930

Senator DALY (South Australia) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I did not think it necessary in submitting this motion to set out the position iu detail. I understood that honorable members opposite had a better knowledge of parliamentary procedure than that possessed by me. Members of another place, from which legislation of a financial character must emanate, were summoned to meet on a certain date, and, naturally, members of the Senate were called here so that they would be ready to deal with any legislation that might be sent down from the other branch of the legislature. Unfortunately, two condolence motions have caused the adjournment of the other House. As a mark of respect, it has adjourned until Wednesday next, and members of the Senate can do nothing until legislation is sent down from the other House. I wish to be optimistic in all things; but I do not anticipate that any proposals put forward, dealing with the present financial difficulties of the Commonwealth, will meet with the unanimous approval of members in another place or of members of the Senate. It occurred to me that, if we met next week, we could, no doubt, discuss a motion for the printing of a paper.

Senator Chapman - That means the Government's financial proposals?

Senator DALY - Yes, and then, with that expedition for which the Senate is noted, it would probably have disposed of that motion by the end of the week. In any case, we should probably not meet on the holiday.

Senator Reid - Why did not the honorable senator think of that before we were called together?

Senator DALY - I did not call the Senate together. The Government advised the President of the Senate that another place would be called together, and you, sir, adopted the usual constitutional practice. I did not know, nor did any one know, that when another place met circumstances would arise which would necessitate the adjournment of that chamber. How could any one have anticipated such a happening? I assure honorable senators that the Government is fully alive to its responsibilities in the present crisis, and that it is desirous of dealing with the problems which confront Australia. The Government has no desire or intention to slight honorable senators. Its legislative programme will be carried through with all due expedition. I feel sure -.hat if this adjournment is granted the Senate will have some business to transact when it again meets. I am, however, afraid that if we were to adjourn till next week we might assemble on Tuesday and have no business to transact. No one regrets any inconvenience that might have been caused to honorable senators more than the Government does. It has been said that the course proposed is unprecedented in the history of federation. That may be so. I doubt whether it has previously been found necessary to have an extraordinary financial session. Probably such a set of circumstances has never previously arisen. Ordinarily, when the Senate meets on the day that another place is called together, there is business for this chamber to transact; but as this is a financial session, nothing can bc done in the Senate until legislation has reached it from another place. The President; had no alternative but to call the Senate together. He was not to know that sum.; happy set of circumstances would i ot arise which would enable effect to be given to the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Pearce) so that we could deal with the whole of the legislation of the session in a day and return to our homes until February or

Marchof next year. I hope that honorable senators will appreciate the difficulties of the Government, even in fixing the date of our assembling, and that they will agree to the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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