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Friday, 15 December 1911

Senator McGREGOR (South AustraliaVice President of the Executive Council) . - The desire of the Government is to meet the convenience of every honorable senator. If Senator Symon, or any other representative of South Australia, wishes to leave to-night for Adelaide, we will do all we possibly can to give them pairs if they are not here before any matter which is really of a debatable character comes on.

Senator McDougall - How do you know the way in which they wish to vote?

Senator McGREGOR - There is a number of honorable senators who would like to leave Melbourne to-day. I should like to go to Adelaide to-night. I had as ranged to go, but, of course, I cannot leave.

Senator O'Keefe - I would like to goto Tasmania to-day, but I cannot.

Senator McGREGOR - Other honorable senators who have been absent from their homes for a long while would like to leave Melbourne to-day. Any senator from New South Wales who goes away this evening can be back at 1 o'clock on Monday, ready to attend the afternoon sitting. It there is anything which the Leader of the Opposition wishes to be postponed until the Sydney contingent return, the Government will be quite willing to accede to the request and to go on with the general discussion, so that no one shall be put to any inconvenience.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - That is very fair.

Senator McGREGOR - As regards coming back in January, that is a question on which I dare say the Senate will be divided

Senator Millen - That is an emanation from a political novice.

Senator McGREGOR - If it is possible to legitimately finish the session before Christmas without curtailing the privileges of any honorable senator, I think it is the duty of the Senate to do so. It should be remembered that if we were to adjourn until next year the session might go on for weeks. Every sitting involves a big expense, which, if Parliament could be prorogued before Christmas, would be saved to the country. I hope that my proposal to adjourn until Monday morning will be carried, and everything will be done to suit the convenience of honorable senators.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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