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Wednesday, 8 August 1906
Page: 2522

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - To what business does the AttorneyGeneral allude? I see no business on the notice-paper after the Budget, except the Bounties Bill.

Mr Austin Chapman - There will be the Tariff presently.

Mr.JOSEPH COOK.- The AttorneyGeneral makes a very fair proposal to the Housecontgment on therebeing a con gested business-paper, and little time in which to get through that business. When an appeal of this kind is made on the second night of a Budget debate, it can only be because of some overpoweringly important proposals which are already on the business-paper waiting to , be dealt with. If there are such proposals in contemplation, we ought to be so informed. I have told the Government more than once that if they will announce their intentions for the session we might very well agree to wipe off the business, and get to the country as early as possible. But we wish to know, for instance, what is to be done with regard to the Government's newfangled proposals of an electoral character? We are asked to facilitate the discussion on the Budget, but I see no very great reason to curtail the debate if it is to be merely for the purpose -of introducing such proposals. If,on the other hand, there are urgent Tariff proposals to be brought forward, with a view to relieve the alleged strangled and decaying industries of Victoria, they shall receive the very earnest consideration ofevery honorable member on this side. If the Government will say that the Tariff proposals are ready, and that they are prepared to plunge into a Tariff debate, I think I can undertake, on behalf of the Opposition, that the debate on the Budget may conclude to-morrow. There are, however, important matters in the Budget which require consideration in the absence of anybusiness of more urgency. I say, therefore, that the Attorney-General makes the appeal rightly if he has urgent business to bring before the House, but in a session like this when we are supposed to be wiping off the work of Parliament, newfangled proposals which found no place on the programme at the beginning ought not to be brought forward. I speak apart altogether from the merits of those proposals. I am referring merely to the time at which they should be introduced. If, therefore. the Attorney-General will state that he does not desire to introduce proposals other than those of urgency - that he desires to deal with the Tariff, or other proposals of that kind - there will not be much trouble in meeting him.

Mr Isaacs - Of course, the Tariff is included.

Question resolved in the affirmative..

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