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Thursday, 13 November 1930

Senator DUNN (New South Wales) . - Twelve weeks- ago> when -the work of this committee was under discussion, it was pointed out that the committee would take evidence, first in Sydney and then in- Melbourne, returning to- Canberra; as the Government appealed to it to do, before the adjournment in the second week of August. . In accordance with that arrangement the committee visited both Sydney and Melbourne:, but instead of presenting its report before Parliament rose in August, it secured a postponement, with the result that another ten weeks have elapsed, making twelve in all, without a report having been presented. Senator Sir Hal Colebatch says that he did. not expect that Parliamen would meet until early next year. Perhaps the articles from his pen dealing with financial questions, which appeared in the Sydney Evening News, influenced the Government to call Parliament, together for a short financial session. Although the Prime Minister (Mr. Scullin) was desirous of obtaining the committee's report before he left Australia, we are now told by Senator Sir Hal Colebatch that the committee did not accede to his request because it was waiting for a report from Sir Otto Niemeyer and Professor Gregory - two eminent and distinguished visitors from the Old Country.

Senator Guthrie - Does not the honorable senator think that they have some knowledge of financial matters?

Senator DUNN - I do not say that they have no knowledge of finance : but 1 remind the honorable senator that the Government, not Sir Otto Niemeyer or Professor Gregory, is in charge of the finances of this country. If, as Senator Cole batch says, these gentlemen have left behind a report, why is it not placed on the table of the Senate?

Senator Sir Hal Colebatch - The committee cannot place their memorandum on the table until it furnishes its report.

Senator DUNN - What is the reason for asking for this further postponement ? Is it that the members of the committee have heard rumours of a split in the Labour party and wish to harass the Government ?

Senator Sir Hal Colebatch - The honorable senator need not be afraid that I shall oppose him in the event of there being a double dissolution.

Senator DUNN - I should like the honorable senator to oppose me, for I know that, instead of returning to this chamber after the election, he would probably be writing further articles for the Sydney Evening News.

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