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Thursday, 14 December 1905

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) - I understand that it is the general desire of honorable members, while agreeing to the principle of this legislation, that it should not be passed before the Christmas holidays. If that is a mistaken idea, the position should be squarely faced. I am entirely in favour of the measure, but it seems to be impossible to pass it within the short time remaining at our disposal before the close of the session. Let me say. in answer to the Prime Minister, that there is no idea of taking the business out of the hands of the Government, or of inflicting any humiliation upon them. I understand that the motion for the second reading was agreed to out of consideration for the Government.

Sir William Lyne - There was no arrangement, so far as I know.

Mr FISHER - I recognise the difficulties in the way of passing the Bill before Christmas, and I would urge that its consideration should be allowed to stand over for the present, and that honorable members should be asked to meet again early in January.

Honorable Members. - Oh !

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