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Thursday, 30 November 1905

Mr McCAY (Corinella) -Iamsorry that the honorable member for Bland is not in the Chamber, because there are one or two matters upon which he dwelt to which I desire to refer. In the first place, I have to congratulate the honorable member for Moira and the honorable member for Gippsland upon at last having secured a breach in the obstinate silence that prevailed upon the opposite side of the House. After twenty-four hours of close debate, that silence was broken, not by a Minister, but by the present champion,guide, protector, and friend of the Ministry - the leader of the Labour Party. I have heard most of the debate which has taken place during the past twenty-four hours, and I think it was due to those who have criticised the Government proposal that some reply to their representations should have been made earlier. However, that is a matter for the determination of honorable members concerned, although it is open to criticismby others. The honorable member for Moira and the honorable member for Gippsland have at last succeeded in forcing one honorable member opposite to attempt some defence of the position which is taken up by those who sit upon the right of Mr. Speaker. Isay "attempt" some defence, because I regret that the honorable member for Bland avoided the real questions at issue in connexion with this amendment, just asdid the speech which he delivered a week or two back. Unfor tunately, too,hefell into some serious errors of fact.Early in his speech he stated that the Trade Marks' Bill had been debated for something like four weeks, and that most of the discussion upon it had been directed against its union label provisions. As a matter of fact, up till the present moment the Bill has been debated just eight and a half days, and out of that time two days were spent in discussing the other portions of the measure.

Mr Spence - There was some debate upon the second reading before that.

Mr McCAY - Inclusive of the debate upon the second reading, only six and a half days have been devoted to the consideration of this very important question. As I understand that honorable members would be enabled to catch their trains if I ceased speaking, I ask leave to continue my remarks on Tuesday next.

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