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Wednesday, 25 February 1942

Mr CURTIN (Fremantle) (Prime Minister) .- I move-

That the House, at its rising, adjourn to Thursday, the5th March, at 3 p.m.

I am not able to make anything other than a general statement about the justification for this course. I can only say that members of the Advisory War Council are entirely familiar with the reasons which actuate me in submitting this motion. This afternoon the international position will be reviewed by the Minister for External Affairs (Dr. Evatt), but, instead of continuing the sittings this week and concluding them, we desire to use this week for a matter of great urgency - preparation and organization for other than parliamentary work. The whole strategical problem of this country requires most urgent consideration. That consideration will be given in association with the representatives of New Zealand and - I think I may use the phrase used by the President of the United States of America - the united nations. I shall not be more particular than that. All this makes it imperatively necessary that the Administration shall have the opportunity now to engage in a thorough and complete review of the position of Australia in respect of the war, the position of New Zealand in respect of the war, and the position of the whole of the Allies in respect of the war in total.

Mr.BRENNAN (Batman) [3.35].- In view of the explanation which the Prime Minister has submitted, one can hardly tlo other in the present set of circumstances than acquiesce in the motion, hut I must express some disappointment that a motion of this kind should be sprung upon us for the first time on the meeting of the Parliament. Members come long distances to assemble in this Parliament, and it is their duty to do so.

Mr Rankin - The Japanese travel long distances, too.

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