13th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon. W. Kingsmill) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
In view of the great amount of distress prevailing in the shipbuilding industries and the shipbuilding yards at Sydney, will the Minister issue instructions for the breakingup of all obsolete naval vessels, such dismantling to take place at Cockatoo Island, the “Federal Government’s naval shipyards?
– All naval vessels now in reserve are required for specific naval duties in emergency, and cannot be made available for breaking up at present. The Government will give consideration to the request of the honorable senator should circumstances justify the scrapping of any of the vessels in the future.
asked the Leader of the Government in the Senate, upon notice -
Will the Government set aside a day in the Senate to debate unemployment as relating to all States throughout Australia; if so, when will it do so?
Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE.I would refer the honorable senator to a statement made by the Prime Minister in another place to-day indicating that the whole question of unemployment is engaging the Government’s earnest attention. It is not thought that any useful purpose would be served by adopting the suggestion of the honorable senator at this stage.
asked the. Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
Is it the intention of the Federal Government to extend the passenger steamship service to and from Hobart and Sydney throughout the winter months; if not, why not?
– The Prime Minister has furnished the following reply to the honorable senator’s question : -
The governing factor in this matter is the financial position of the Commonwealth, and whilst necessity exists for reducing postal and other services throughout the Commonwealth there is very little prospect of the extension of the service mentioned by the honorable senator being arranged.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
Whether, in view of inconvenience caused to persons engaged in the importing interests through the’ delay occasioned while goods subject to duty are, in transit from one Australian port to another, on coastal or overseas ships, will the Government consider the advisability of passing legislation that will enable the duty on such goods to be ascertained, declared, and collected at the first port of call in the Commonwealth?
– The Minister for Trade and Customs has furnished the following reply to the honorable senator’s question : -
It is considered that it would be quite impracticable to collect duty at the first port of call on goods which go on to other ports. The invoices would usually not be available, and the goods could not be examined to be checked with the entries.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Works and Railways, upon notice -
– The Minister for Works and Railways has supplied the following answer to the honorable senator’s question: -
Consideration of House of Representa tives message (vide page 1004) :
[2.35]. - I move-
That the Senate agrees to the appointment of a joint select committee for the purpose of completing and presenting to Parliament a report of the inquiry previously conducted by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts into : -
In June, 1931, the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts decided to conduct an inquiry into the matters set forth in the motion. In the course of its inquiry the committee sought the aid of prominent financial experts, most of whom spent a considerable amount of time in research and preparation of matter for submission to that body.
At the time of the dissolution of Parliament last year the committee was engaged in the preparation of a compre hensive report, and those members of the last Public Accounts Committee who are members of the present Parliament have asked that they be appointed a joint select committee for the purpose of completing and presenting a report. The Public Accounts Committee regarded the investigation as one of great importance. The Government considered the representations made and decided to submit to Parliament a motion for the appointment of a joint select committee and to ask for the appointment of three senators who were members of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts of the twelfth Parliament.
Each member of the late committee has signified his willingness to act on the select committee in a purely honorary capacity, and the only additional cost involved in the inquiry will be the cost of printing the report. No further witnesses are to be called to give evidence. The Government feels that it would be a pity if the work begun by the late public accounts committee were not completed. I am sure that we all appreciate the public spirit of the members of that committee, who have offered to complete the work without additional cost, and, on behalf of the Government, I wish to express our thanks to them. In the appointment of this select committee the usual procedure is not being observed for very good reasons, which are well known to honorable senators. Obviously, if we appointed members who were not included in the personnel of the Public Accounts Committee they would be at a disadvantage, because they would not have heard the witnesses examined, and would be obliged to peruse the whole of the evidence taken. Possibly, also, they would want to recall some of the witnesses. For this reason we are departing from the usual procedure, but in the special circumstances I ask the Senate to agree to the motion in this form.
SenatorDOOLEY (New South Wales) [2.41]. - I support the motion. I appreciate the excellent work that has been performed by the Committee of Public Accounts. The Commonwealth would suffer a considerable loss if the inquiry upon which that committee was engaged when the last Parliament was dissolved, was not carried to a conclusion. The correct action is being taken in delegating to those who were so deeply interested in the subject the task of completing the inquiry. It is too late to regret that the Committee of Public Accounts has passed out of existence. That being so, the Senate would be well advised to give to the proposed select committee the power to complete the report, which, I understand, is a most valuable one.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
In committee: Consideration resumed from the 4th March (vide page 657) of the report presented to the Senate on the 24th July, 1931.
Proposed new Standing Order 195a - “ A bill having been read a second time shall be considered in a committee of the whole Senate, or the Senate may first refer the bill to a select committee or a standing committee.”
The CHAIRMAN (Senator Plain).The motion that this proposed new standing order be agreed to was formally moved last week by Senator Brennan ; to which, by way of amendment, Senator Pearce moved -
That all the words after the word “ shall “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ unless otherwise ordered be considered in a committee of the whole Senate.”
– As it is desired that the proposed new Standing Order 195a shall be negatived, I consider that I am justified in asking the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) to withdraw his amendment. The substance of 195a will be incorporated in another standing order to be moved later.
[2.45]. - I have had an opportunity of consulting some members of the Standing Orders Committee, particularly the President, with respect to my amendment, and as a consequence, am satisfied that what I had in view will be achieved by the new standing order to be proposed later. That being so, I ask leave to withdraw my amendment.
Amendment -by leave - withdrawn.
Motion (Senator Brennan’s) negatived.
Proposed new standing order negatived.
Proposed new Standing Order 195b - “ When it is intended to move to refer a bill to a select committee or standing committee the second reading may be moved pro forma, and in such case there shall be no speech by the mover and no debate: Provided that notice of intention to move pro forma must be given either at the time of fixing the date for second reading or not less than two clear sitting days before the date fixed for second reading, the same to be notified on the noticepaper.”
– Certain amendments of this proposed new Standing Order 195b are to be proposed, the effect of which I shall explain to honorable senators. It is desired that the words “ intended to move to refer a bill “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ the intention of the senator in charge of a bill to move the bill be referred.” A further amendment will be moved to leave out the words “ the same to be notified “, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ and such notice shall be placed.” I move -
That the words “ intended to move to refer a bill,” line one, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ the intention of the senator in charge of a bill to move the bill be referred.”
The new method that it is proposed to adopt has been taken from the Standing Orders of the New Zealand Parliament, where it has been found to work well. The Leader of the Senate and other members of the Standing Orders Committee have had an opportunity of judging how the practice operates. In the possession of the Clerks there are some Votes and Proceedings of the Parliament of the Dominion of New Zealand. Included in those Votes and Proceedings are several explicit examples of how the standing order is applied, and the success with which it has operated. If honorable senators who have any doubt in this matter peruse them, I am sure they will be quite satisfied that the method proposed is the best way out of what is now a difficult position. It is a good way of overcoming the difficulty of referring a bill to a select committee, and has worked very satisfactorily in the Dominion of New Zealand.
– What I bare to say may not be strictly apropos of the amendment, but I crave the indulgence of the Senate to raise a point which appears to have been overlooked. I refer honorable senators to Standing Orders Nos. 194 and 195, which provide that certain amendments may be moved to the motion “ That the bill be now read a second time.” Standing Order No. 194 *ets out the specific amendments that may be moved to that motion and then Standing Order No. 195 goes on to provide that -
No other amendment may be moved to such question except in the form of a resolution strictly relevant to the hill.
Honorable senators are aware that we have already deleted the words “by referring the bill to a select committee “ which appear in Standing Order No. 194. If we carry the amendment to the standing order now proposed and insert the words suggested, it seems to me, so far as I can see, that no power will be left to a private member - for instance a member of the Opposition- to move an amendment if he so desires to refer a bill to a select committee at the second reading stage. At the moment I cannot say if there is any other stage at which such a motion can be moved.
– There will be under new Standing Order 197.
– I am merely anxious to preserve to the Senate the power already given in our Standing Orders, which I regard as a valuable privilege that should not be taken away.
– It is preserved.
– If so not much harm is done. I wanted to be perfectly clear that the power is still preserved to any honorable senator to have a bill referred to a select committee if the Senate is prepared to support him.
– I can assure the Assistant Minister (Senator Greene) that the power to which he refers is preserved. I point out, as I have often done from the chair, that at present the only method of reference to a select committee occurs at a stage before the bill is read a second time. The Standing Orders - if I may be allowed to speak generally for a moment - are framed on the understanding that no bill shall enter the committee stage before the second reading has been passed in some form. After all, a select committee is a committee stage of a bill, and the committee stage is not supposed to occur until the principle of the bill has been affirmed by the passing of the motion for the second reading. It is proposed under this new standing order that when the second reading stage is reached the honorable senator in charge of the bill, may move the second reading pro forma. Then follows the motion, “That the bill ‘be committed”. On that motion it is laid down that a debate may ensue corresponding in all respects with a second-reading debate. Honorable senators will see that the effect is to get to the select committee stage by the bill being read a second time pro forma. If the motion that the bill be committed is negatived, then the measure, so to speak, comes to a stop. The proposed new standing order has the effect of transferring the second-reading debate on the formal motion to the motion that the bil] be referred to a standing committee or a select committee. In this connexion I again refer Honorable senators to the explanatory matter concerning the practice in the Dominion of New Zealand, which is in the possession of the Clerk of the Senate, and is available to them. Honorable senators will see that every right to move for a select committee is to be preserved to a private member. That is the reason why he is to be afforded the opportunity to give notice when the second-reading stage is fixed. I presume, of course, that the Minister in charge of the bill would assist in this matter. At least two clear days’ notice must be given of the intention to move that the bill be read a second time pro forma. When a Minister, or any other honorable senator in charge of a bill, arrives at the stage when he has to fix the second reading or go on with the motion for the second reading of the bill, he can, by leave of the Senate, move the second reading pro forma. That motion, when submitted pro forma, would not be debated. The second motion, that the bill be referred to a standing or a select committee, would then be moved, and the debate upon it would correspond with that on the motion for the second’ reading of a bill under the existing standing order.
– I think that there is a good deal in the contention of the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Pearce). I direct Senator Kingsmill’s attention to the exact wording of the proposed new standing order, which if allowed to remain in its present form,must of necessity operate more or less in a onesided manner. When it is intended to move to refer a bill to a standing committee or a select committee, the second reading, it is provided, “ may “ be moved pro forma. I think the word “ shall “ should be used. In my opinion, we can clarify the position by striking out the words “ When itis intended “, and inserting “ If it be intimated that it is intended “. Obviously, the person in charge of a bill is the only person who can move its second reading. If he were permitted by the Standing Orders to rise and say that it was his intention to ask the Senate to refer the bill to a select committee, then a pro forma motion for the second reading could be moved.
– I take it that the honorable senator would leave out all the words after “ Provided “.
– Yes; with a contingent amendment. The proposed standing order provides -
When it is intended to move to refer a bill to a select committee or standing committee, the second reading may be moved pro forma
It is impossible to know what is in the back of another man’s mind. The only person who can have knowledge of the intention to move to refer the bill to a select committee is the person who intends so to move.
– Then he will have rights which are denied other members?
– Yes. I cannot see how we can provide that a private member may take the business out of the hands of the government at any stage.
– What aboutthe Central Reserve Bank Bill, in connexion with which an amendment was moved that the bill be referred to a select committee?
– In that case, the Minister in charge of the bill had explained the Government’s policy, and the Leader of the Opposition had set out the attitude of the Opposition to the measure. It was after those views had been expressed that Senator Glasgow moved that the bill be referred to a select committee.
– Is that right still preserved ?
– It comes after the second reading.
– At the moment, I am not greatly concerned about the retention of that right. If I may say so, I suggest that the amendment as originally submitted is not happily worded.
– Has the honorable senator seen the amendment in its altered form?
– I have now a typewritten copy of the new standing order as proposed to be altered. It reads -
When it is the intention of the senator in charge of a bill to move the bill be referred to a select committee or standing committee the second reading may be moved pro forma, and in such case there shall be no speech by the mover and no debate; provided that notice of intention to move pro forma mustbe given either at the time of fixing the date for second reading or not less than two clear sitting days before the date fixed for second reading, and such notice shall be placed on the notice-paper.
That meets the objection that I raised.
– As to the right of any senator to move that the bill shall be referred to a select committee, or a standing committee, I refer the committee to the proposed new Standing Order 197, which will become Standing Order 196. It reads -
After the second reading, unless a motion (of which notice need not be given) be moved for referring the bill to a select committee or a standing committee, or, unless notice of instruction has been given, the Senate shall forthwith resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the consideration of the bill . . .
The moving of that motion without notice may take place after the second reading and may be availed of by any honorable senator and not only the person in charge of the bill. Before the committee of the whole comes into existence it is competent for any honorable senator to move, without notice, that the bill be referred. to a select committee or a standing com*mittee. The rights of honorable senators in that respect are fully protected. The Senate seems to be fairly well agreed that any motion for reference to a committee should be moved only after the second reading. That provision is preserved. These standing orders have been framed to preserve a practice which, I understand, exists practically throughout the Parliaments of the Empire. It is possible under them to move, even at later stages than immediately after the second reading, for a bill, or portion of a bill, to be referred to a select committee or a standing committee. I have seen that done, although not frequently. I can call to mind instances of bills having been referred to a select committee, when progress was being reported. Not only are the existing rights of honorable senators preserved under the proposed new standing orders; they are amplified, without detriment to the conduct of business.
– Those rights are referred to somewhat obliquely in the proposed new Standing Order 197.
– Have we not first to get the consent of the Senate to the second reading ?
– That may be done either pro forma, by influencing the person in charge of the bill to move accordingly, or against his wishes if the numbers in the Senate are strong enough to oppose successfully any objection on his part. The time for referring a bill to a select committee is definitely put after the second reading, which, honorable senators will agree, is the proper place for it. The votes and proceedings of, I think, all the dominion parliaments of the Empire, are filed in the library. Those honorable senators who were members of the Standing Orders Committee, and others who have studied this subject, are agreed that the standing order works well in New Zealand, and is, indeed, a valuable aid to the conduct of business there. I commend the proposal to the committee.
– The explanation given by Senator Kingsmill clears up the difficulty for all -practical purposes. I may’ be somewhat old-fashioned, but I have always held that the assent of a member to the second reading of a bill commits him to agreement with its general principles. When the Central Reserve Bank Bill was under discussion in the Senate last year, the motion to refer it to a select committee was moved while the motion “ That the bill be now read a second time”, was under discussion. It is perfectly clear from our knowledge at that time that had the bill gone to the second-reading stage, it would have been defeated, and the Senate would have been deprived of the very valuable report the select committee Drought in at a later stage. An honorable senator might feel embarrassed at voting for the second reading of a bill owing to the general parliamentary practice that one who votes for the second reading of a bill is committed to the general principles of the bill. I am wondering whether the procedure now suggested would allow one in the course of the second reading to say, “I do not believe in this bill , but I shall vote for it so that later on I can move for a select committee to inquire into it, and then I may be able to sponsor it “. I do not want to find myself embarrassed. In no circumstances would I vote for the second reading of a bill until such time as it had been subjected to full consideration.
– The pro forma second reading of a bill is recommended for two reasons, first to preserve what is considered the symmetry of the procedure on the bill by having any reference to any form of committee after the second reading, and, secondly, still to retain to honorable senators the right to reject a bill in toto if that is necessary.’ The proviso to proposed new standing order 19fi is as follows: -
Provided that when the second reading has been agreed to pro forma, on the first occasion for consideration of the bill in committee of the whole Senate, the question shall be proposed “ That this bill be now committed “, and such motion shall be open to debate as though it were a motion for second reading.
The rejection of that motion is an abso-‘ lute end to the bill, having exactly the same effect as the rejection of the second reading. If anything objectionable about the measure is found in the course of investigation, before it is considered in committee of the whole Senate, then, on the motion for commitment, the bill can be rejected. After the second reading, the- bill may be referred to a select committee or a standing committee. No rights are taken away from private members. Indeed, their rights are strengthened. The more one studies this ingenious method of keeping a bill open to rejection after the second reading has been passed, the more one admires it. I do not think that the experience of New Zealand in working this procedure for many years has disclosed many weak points.
– There is one point upon which I am not. quite clear. When a committee was formed to go into the question of amending the Standing Orders with a view to appointing standing committees to deal with proposals for referring bills for further investigation, one of the reasons which actuated it in recommending this proposition to refer a bill to a select committee, was that such a motion has hitherto carried with it the idea of hostility to the bill.
– That is so, because the standing order providing for it also provides that an amendment may be moved, “ That the bill be read this day six months “.
– Yes, it is in bad company, consequently the motion to refer a bill to a select committee has been looked on almost as a motion of censure. I am only wondering to what extent the adoption of the Standing Order Committee’s recommendation will remove that stigma.
– Once we remove this expedient from what the honorable senator has referred to as the bad company winch it now keeps, that element of stigma must go. Some years ago, I used select committees for the purpose of saving time in the committee stage in the consideration of long and technical measures. The procedure I found very useful in the case of bills requiring a lot of explanation. If such measures can be referred to a select committee which understands its work, it results in cutting down the committee stage by at least one-half. Honorable senators, in addition, ha,v,e a very much better opportunity to find out what may be the purpose of a bill.
– This new standing order, as I understand it, confers upon a Minister a right which is not enjoyed by a private member. It is my desire to see that they are placed on an equal footing.
Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia - Minister for Defence) [3.23]. - Perhaps I can elucidate the point which happens to be disturbing Senator Lynch’s mind. Let us assume that Senator McLachlan will shortly be introducing a measure like the Bankruptcy Bill. As it is a technical measure, he knows that there will probably be a long debate in committee on its various provisions. Therefore, he will intimate that the second reading will be taken proforma and the bill referred to a select committee or a standing committee. Up to that stage no member will have spoken on the measure, not even the Minister in charge of it. The committee having dealt with it will present its report, and the Minister then will move “ That this bill be now committed.” On that motion there can be a general debate. This is a new procedure in the Senate. In respect of such bills the debate on the motion to commit will really be the second-reading debate. If that motion is carried, the bill will go into committee of the whole Senate. That is one illustration of the working of this proposed standing order. Let us consider also the procedure under it of the Broadcasting Bill, which will be introduced next week. Say that the Government does not desire that the measure be referred to a select committee, but Senator Lynch does. The Minister in charge will move the second reading, the debate will proceed, and the vote will be taken. Then will come Senator Lynch’s opportunity to move that it be referred to a select committee or a standing committee. If the motion is carried, the committee will examine the bill, and report upon it. In what way is the right of a private member being interfered with?
– The second reading is not pro forma so far as a private member is concerned…
Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE.rThat is the only difference, and in view of the experience’ of the previous Administration with the Central Reserve Bank Bill, I should think Senator Daly would view this proposed new standing order sympathetically. A number of honorable senators desired to speak on the motion for the second reading of the Central Reserve Bank Bill, but an amendment to refer it to a select committee having been moved, they were excluded. The proposed new procedure absolutely provides every safeguard for private members.
– But it puts a private member in a position inferior to that of a Minister.
Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE.Nevertheless he will have the right to move that any particular bill be referred to a select committee or a standing committee.
– Would it be possible to provide that a bill be referred to the standing committee before the President puts the motion for the second reading of the bill?
Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE.It seems to me that this new procedure is just as good. Suppose I second the motion for the second reading of the Broadcasting Bill, which the Government does not desire to have referred to a select committee. If a majority of the Senate supports an amendment to refer it to a select committee or a standing committee, an honorable senator will still have the right to reject the bill by voting against the motion that the bill be committed.
– Senator Lynch has stressed the rights of Ministers as against the rights of private members. Surely he will admit that a Minister must have some additional privileges, otherwise his life would be hardly worth living. He should have the right to have a bill referred to a select committee without what sometimes proves to be a tedious second-reading debate. But the Senate has not lost its grip on a bill by the inclusion of this proposed new stage, which Senator Lynch will remember was in existence in the Parliament of Western Australia when he was there. When the second-reading debate was concluded, a motion was made by the Minister in charge of the bill that the President do now leave the chair and that the bill be considered in committee of the whole. That stage has been restored under this proposed new standing order, and at that stage a private member is in possession of rights equal to those of a Minister.
– Then and then only.
SenatorKINGSMILL. - But that is the only time when a private member will wish to exercise the right, because when a select committee has considered a bill, a motion is made to commit the measure for consideration in committee of the whole. As a matter of fact a bill is made more vulnerable than was previously the case. Private members’ rights are increased rather than decreased by the proposed change.
Amendment agreed to.
Amendment (by Senator Kingsmill) agreed to -
That the words “ the same to be notified “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ and such notice shall be placed “.
Proposed new standing order, as amended, agreed to.
That Standing Order No. 196 be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new Standing Order: - “ When a bill has been reported on by a select committee or a standing committee, a future day may be fixed for the next stage of the proceedings of the bill.”
That Standing Order No. 197 be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new Standing Order: - “ After the second reading, unless a motion (of which notice need notbe given) be moved for referring the bill to a select committee or a standing committee, or unless notice of instruction has been given, the Senate shall forthwith resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the consideration of the bill: Provided that when the second reading has been agreed topro forma, on the first occasion for consideration of the bill in committee of the whole Senate the question shall beproposed ‘ That this bill be now committed ‘, and such motion shall be open to debate as though it were a motion for second reading.”
Amendments (by Senator Kingsmill) agreed to -
That Standing Order No. 196 be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new Standing Order: - “ 196. After the second reading, unless a motion (of which notice need not be given) be moved for referring the bill to a select committee or a standing committee, or unless notice of instruction has been given, the Senate shall forthwith resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the consideration of the bill. Provided that when the second readinghas been agreed to pro forma, on the first occasion for consideration of the bill in committee of the whole Senate the question shall be proposed ‘ That this bill be now committed ‘, and such motion shall be open to debate as though it were a motion for second reading.”
That Standing OrderNo. 197 be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following newStanding Order: - “ 197. When a bill has been reported on by a select committee or a standing committee,a future day may be fixed for the next stage of the proceedings on the bill.”
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the report be adopted.
– I wish to have the report of the Standing Orders Committee recommitted tor the purpose of making further additions to the Standing Orders.
– The only way in which the honorable senator may seek to have further additions or alterations made to the Standing Orders is by moving that they be referred to the Standing Orders Committee for consideration and report.
– Can I do so at this stage ?
– Only by giving notice. if the honorable senator is anxious to give notice, he can do so now, but only by leave of the Senate.
– As I should like to have an opportunity to consider the honorable senator’s proposal, I suggest that he give notice on Tuesday next.
– I shall do so.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
[3.42]. - As the amendments made by the Senate in the Financial Agreements Enforcement Bill have not yet been disposed of by another place, I suggest, sir, that you suspend the sitting until 3.56 p.m.
Sitting suspended from 3.43 to3.56 p.m.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon.
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Sitting suspended from4 to 5.25 p.m.
Message received from the House of Representatives intimating that it had agreed to the amendments made by the Senate in this bill.
Message received from the House of Representatives transmitting the following resolutions agreed to this day: -
[5.28]. - I move-
That the Senate do now adjourn.
Unless the ordinary sessional order governing the meetings of the ‘Senate is suspended, the Senate will not meet till Wednesday next. It is not proposed to take action to alter the day of meeting, for the Government hopes to be able to complete the business on the notice-paper in time to enable the Senate to rise on
Thursday next for the Easter adjournment. It relies on the co-operation of the Opposition, and other members of the Senate, to enable that to be done. The Government will do its best to expedite the business to enable honorable senators to get away from Canberra on Thursday next if they so desire.
– As there is only a limited train service to Western Australia, it will be necessary for senators from that State who wish to return home for Easter to leave Canberra on Thursday next if they desire to avoid a delay of about two days in Melbourne. I hope, therefore, that every effort will be made to conclude the business on the notice-paper by Thursday next.
– The honorable senator can rely on the Government doing its best in that direction.
– The Opposition will give every assistance in its power.
– Some honorable senators may desire to attend the celebrations connected with the opening of the Sydney Harbour bridge. I have not been invited to the ceremony, and it would appear that no general invitation to members of this Parliament has been issued. I am not concerned about that, for even if I had been invited, I probably should not have gone. In this connexion it is interesting to compare the action of the present New South Wales Government with that of the Government of Western Australia which was in office when the pipe line erected to convey water nearly 400 miles from the coastal district to Kalgoorlie was opened. On that occasion every member of the Federal Parliament was invited to witness the ceremony.
– It is not a matter for which the Government of New South Wales is responsible.
– I can only Bay that the. treatment of members of this Parliament by the Government of New South Wales compares unfavorably with the Government of Western Australia to which I have referred.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 5.30 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 11 March 1932, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1932/19320311_senate_13_133/>.