1st Parliament · 1st Session
The President took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
Senator PULSFORD presented a petition from the New South Wales Chamber of Manufactures praying the Senate to request that the duties on boilers, pumps, machines, and machinery n.e.i., and on agricultural and horticultural machinery and implements n.e.i., be not reduced.
Petition received and read.
Senator PULSFORD presented a petition from the same body praying the Senate to be no party to the imposition of any duties which were not levied equally on Government imports.
– I regret to find now that it will be almost impossible for us to deal with any business beyond the questions on the notice-paper, and for this reason : that although we might, by suspending the standing orders, have proceeded with some other business, a difficulty has arisen in connexion with the reprinting of the Electoral Bill.
– It was a scandalous thing to bring us over here to do nothing.
– I regret very much that honorable senators have been brought to Melbourne to do nothing, but there is nothing in the standing orders, as I believe, to prevent the Senate, if it so desired, from going on with the consideration of the Customs Tariff Bill, and that was my original arrangement. At about . 12.30 o’clock to-day I met some honorable senators, and asked them whether they thought that the feeling of the Senate would be in favour of going on with the consideration of the Tariff to-day, and they all said that they thought it would not be convenient to do so. Clearly it would not have been wise for me, when I was asked-
– I do not think that the honorable and learned senator ought to argue the question more than is necessary to answer it.
– Originally I thought that we should be able to go on at once with the consideration of the Customs Tariff Bill, and I was prepared to do so if it was the wish of the Senate. But when I found that it was not the desire of a number of honorable senators to go on with its consideration to-day, I hoped that we should be able to consider the amendments of the other House in the Electoral Bill, and I arranged to do so. A few minutes ago, however, a message was sent to me that so many amendments had been made that a reprint of the Bill would not be ready for distribution to honorable senators to-day. Therefore, reluctantly, I have to forego this opportunity of asking the Senate to deal with the amendments in that Bill.What I propose to do is to ask the Senate to-morrow to deal with the amendments in that Bill, and a motion relative to the Governor-General’s establishment, and if agreeable to postpone the consideration of the Tariff until Tuesday.
The PRESIDENT announced that he had sent a telegram of sympathy, on behalf of the Senate, with the sufferers at Mount Kembla, to the Premier of New South Wales, who had replied thereto.
The Clerk read the telegram and reply, as follow : -
On behalf of Senate, I express deep sympathy with all those who are sufferers from the explosion at Mount Kembla, and hope that all whose fate is still in doubtmay be saved.
President of the Senate.
Your telegram received. Your kind expressions of sympathy on behalf of the Senate have been duly conveyed to the friends and relatives of those who have suffered from the terrible disaster at Mount Kembla.
JOHN SEE, Premier and Chief Secretary. Sydney, 2nd August, 1902.
Royal assent to this Bill reported.
Bill returned from House of Representatives, with a message stating that it had made certain of the amendments requested by the Senate; made others, with modifications ; had not made the remainder ; and that thd7 date from which the amendments made come into effect had been modified to 14th August, the date on which the House of Representatives agreed to the amendments.
Motion (by Senator Dkake) proposed -
That the message be printed and referred to the committee on the Customs Tariff Bill for consideration on Tuesday next.
– I think that upon this motion it is proper to draw attention to the delay which is being created for some purpose or to suit somebody. The Senate adjourned for three weeks in order that the Tariff might be ready to bc gone on with when we resumed. Undoubtedly it was ready to go on with to-day. The message of the House of Representatives is here, but the Minister in charge of Government business has been making inquiries among certain senators - how many he has not told us - and lias come to the conclusion that the matter should be adjourned. Some honorable senators arrived in Melbourne by train only to-day, but without waiting to see how many members would be present, the Minister has shunted the business, and we are now told that this urgent matter is not to be dealt with until next week. Some senators have been brought over from Western Australia to attend to-day; some have come from Queensland ; Senator McGregor has come from attending to a very important duty of an urgent public character ; and the New South Wales senators have travelled a fairly long distance to attend to business which they expected would be transacted. Time after time, during the last month or two, it has been stated by Ministers that we on this side of the Senate were unduly delaying the whole business of the Commonwealth in order to propose amendments in the Tariff. It was charged against us, as a sort of political offence of which we were guilty, that we proposed amendments. But now, when all things have been arranged for the consummation of the business as far as possible, for some reason the matter is to be postponed. I have spoken, I think, to the majority of the members of the Senate who are in the chamber now, and, with one exception, I have not heard a whisper as to a desire to postpone the consideration of the Tariff. When there has been so much alleged delay in the past, to ask for fi whole week’s delay at this stage is absolutely reprehensible. Of course, we know the reason why the adjournment is asked for. It is bad form to mention it, but I am not going to mince matters from considerations of good form or bad when the public interest is concerned. We know perfectly well that this matter is to be postponed to accommodate a Minister who is engaged elsewhere in the practice of his profession.
– That is not true.
– The honorable and learned senator ought not to make that statement.
– I withdraw the remark.
.- This is not the first time-
– “What about Senator Symon ? He is in the same position.
– I am not Senator Symon’s keeper.
– The absence of Sena- i tor Symon does not tie up the Senate.
– Surely not ; Senator O’Connor has an official responsibility here, but Senator Symon has only a responsibility as a private member. It is preposterous that the whole business of the Commonwealth should be delayed in regard to so important j a matter as the settlement of the Tariff for I a whole week to accommodate the profesIsional exigencies of any member of the Senate or any member of the Government. I protest against the postponement of this matter for an entire week.
– I cannot allow the opportunity to go by without also protesting against the action j of the Government. We have frequently asked the Government to give us an addi!tional day’s adjournment, but when we have done so we have been met with the assurance that the Government were deeply ! anxious to press on with the consideration of the Tariff and other important i matters as rapidly as possible. Now 1 we know that all the time they were making protestations of that character they were speaking with their tongue in their ! cheek. Whether or not it was possible for i the Government to proceed with the Tariff this week, it clearly was possible for them to favour us with notice of their intentions. We have been brought here to-day from all parts of the Commonwealth for the purpose of meeting for half-an-hour. This appears to me to be a scandalous way of treating the Senate, and it is all the more scandalous for the reason that the Government have not offered any reasonable excuse as to why they are not prepared to go on with the business. It is true that some sort of excuse is made by laying the responsibility on the Government Printer; but I do not know whether the Government intend to make that plea seriously. To say that because the Government Printer could not get the work through the business of the Senate should be delayed for 24 hours is ridiculous nonsense.
– No alteration has been made in the Electoral Bill as it was sent to me in Sydney last week.
– If that be so, there lias been an attempt to mislead the Senate, and, therefore, the case is so much the worse. But, in any case, there was absolutely nothing in the nature of the work required to be done in the printing-office to prevent the Bill being here if the Government had been prepared to go on with it. With regard to the Tariff, I had anticipated that the Government would to-day have placed it before us with some announcement as to the course of action they proposed to follow. After that, an adjournment till tomorrow would have been reasonable to afford honorable senators time to give to the Tariff, as it comes back to us from the House of Representatives, the attention that it is entitled to receive. But to bring honorable senators here from distant States, and then to tell them that there is nothing to do, is treatment that is not only unworthy of the Government and discourteous to the Senate, but is absolutely contradictory of all the previous protestations made by the Government as to their desire to proceed with public business. We know now that those protestations were merely an empty sham.
– I presume that the motion submitted by the Postmaster-General, will permit of some discussion taking place as to the position the Tariff now occupies.
– The question before us is only as to the date to be fixed for the consideration of the Tariff.
– Do you rule, sir, that it is impossible to go outside that point 1
– This is a motion that the message be printed and referred to the committee on the Bill for consideration on Tuesday next. I do not think that on that motion it is competent to have a general discussion on the Tariff. The honorable senator will have another opportunity.
– I shall be glad to know that an opportunity will arise of speaking on the matter. I imagine that if the motion of the Minister be not carried, the Senate will at once go into committee ?
– Yes ; that is so.
– I think that it is the dutv of the Government, before we <ro into committee, to place before the Senate some statement as to the procedure they intend to follow.
– Perhaps the honorable senator will allow me to state the position more fully. If the motion before the Senate had not been moved, we should have at once gone into committee on the Bill. I should have left the Chair, because the Senate has already resolved that on the receipt of a message from elsewhere the committee should have leave to sit again. Therefore, no motion would have been necessary if the Postmaster-General had not desired to postpone the consideration of the message. Consequently the matter before us is only that of the postponement of the consideration of the message.
– In view of the extreme importance of the matter, I think that it was the duty of the Government to make some statement, and that they ought to have informed us what “course of action they meant to follow, and what they meant to do in regard to any renewed request that might be made, or what they proposed to do in the other House. I think that on this occasion it might also have been a very proper thing for you, sir, as President of the Senate, to give expression to your views as to the course which it is possible for this Chamber to take in certain eventualities that might arise. It is not right for the Government to say, “ Go at once into committee,’” and then for the Senate to proceed with committee work without knowing anything as to what the procedure will be in regard to the results of the committee work. It is the duty of the Government to make this clear, and I should like to have had under cover of the motion a statement as to the position between the two Houses. But as you have ruled that I cannot discuss that point, I suppose I must take my seat.
– I am very sorry to see the position in which the Senate is put, and I should like the Postmaster-General to give us an idea as to who were the senators who requested him to take the action which he proposes to take on this occasion. I knew nothing about it, and I am sure that the other honorable senators who came over from New South Wales this morning knew very little about it, except what they might have seen in the newspapers. If we are to be guided by the newspapers and not by the announcements we receive, and the motions that we carry here, it will be a very improper state of affairs. If I had imagined that we were not going on with the consideration of the Tariff today, I certainly should not have left Sydney, where I had important public work to do. I came back, because I thought the Tariff was to be brought forward to-day. I should like to ask whether, in the event of this motion that we go into committee next Tuesday being lost, the Senate will go into committee on the Tariff straight away? There seems to be some doubt in the minds of honorable senators, but it seems clear to me that on receipt of the message from another place, we should go straight into committee. If the motion submitted by the Postmaster-General is not carried, what is there to prevent us from going onwith the Tariff? Everywhere I go, whether in Victoria, New South Wales, or South Australia - and those who have been recently in Queensland say the same thing - everybody wants the Tariff to be got through as soon as possible. Whatever the ultimate form of the Tariff may be, the people want it to be finished so that they may go on with their business. It was very unfair of the Government not to notify to honorable senators that they could not go on with business today, and not to give us an intimation of the time when they would be able to proceed with it. In that case, many honorable senators would not have returned to Melbourne. We have been unfairly treated, and have every right to complain. I hope that in future we shall not be treated in the same way.
– Perhaps I may be permitted to answer the question asked. If this motion is lost, I shall leave the chair at once, in pursuance of the order of the
Senate, and the committee on the Customs Tariff Bill will sit.
– It is not often that I find myself in the position of having to support the Government, especially in dealing with Tariff matters ; but I cannot help saying that on the present occasion the Government have, I think, taken the only course they could properly pursue. I do not think that any time will be wasted by the postponement of the consideration of the Tariff until Tuesday next. If honorable senators feel a proper sense of their responsibility in regard to the Tariff, they ought to welcome an opportunity to have three or four days in which to” make up their minds as to the attitude to be adopted by them.
– Is that a justification for the failure of the Government to provide any business?
– I think it is an ample justification for the action of the Government in proposing that the consideration of the Tariff shall be postponed until Tuesday next. I understand from the Postmaster-General that nothing but an accident has prevented us from going on with the consideration of the Electoral Bill.
– But here is a copy of the Bill.
– I accept the PostmasterGeneral’s statement that a practical difficulty has prevented him from bringing forward the Electoral Bill to-day. I feel confident that the Postmaster-General is just as anxious as is any honorable senator that we should proceed with it. It seems to me that there was no other course open to the Government. Even if it had been practicable to proceed with the consideration of the Electoral Bill to-day, the suspension of the standing orders would have been a necessary preliminary. I have grave doubts whether we should ever suspend the standing orders save in cases of extreme urgency, and if it had been proposed I do not think that I should have agreed to their suspension to-day to enable the Electoral Bill to be considered. I rejoice that we shall be able to proceed with it to-morrow, and no time will be wasted if we deal with it finally then or on Friday, when we shall be able to proceed with the Tariff on Tuesday. Complaints have been made by honorable senators from New South Wales that they have travelled something like 1,000 miles to attend here to-day, only to find that there is no business to engage their attention. I make no complaint because of the fact that I have had to travel from Tasmania under more disagreeable conditions, only to be faced with the same situation. I feel that it is the duty of every honorable senator to attend, when the Senate re-assembles from time to time, and to do his utmost to further the transaction of any business that may be brought forward. 1 therefore express no feeling of disappointment in regard to the present situation.
– It is amusing to find the honorable and learned senator for Tasmania, Senator Clemons, supporting the Government. He is evidently sailing in the same boat as the Government. That is to say, the leader of the Government in this Chamber is absent, and the leader of the Opposition is also absent. My honorable and learned friend supports the Government because it suits his book to do so. I fail to see why we should not proceed to-day with the Tariff. As to the statement made by the two innocent honorable senators from New South Wales - Senators Pulsford and Millen - that they expected a statement from the Government, showing exactly what they proposed to do in regard to the Tariff, any man of common sense must see that there is only one way in which the Government can deal with what has been done in another place. The Government agreed, in the first instance, to the Tariff as introduced in this Chamber, and fought for every line in it. It stands to reason, therefore, that they will agree with what another place has done in regard to the amendments requested by us, and will fight every line in order to uphold the decision of the House of Representatives. That is the only straightforward course which they could adopt.
– But they may not elect to take the straightforward course.
– They have hitherto adopted a fairly straightforward course, and they would hardly go back upon themselves on this occasion. If they did, they might possibly find that some of their supporters were not to be depended upon. It appears to me that there is not the slightest necessity for failing to proceed with the Tariff to-day. We came here fully prepared to deal with it, knowing exactly the position we should take up, and that we might try to fight our battles over again. The position that the Government will take up has been palpable from the first, and but for the fact that the leader of the Government in the Senate, and the leader of the Opposition, are away attending to their own private business, we should not have had this request for an adjournment. The fact of the matter is that the Federal Parliament and the Federal Government are ruled to far too great an extent by lawyers. There are many lawyers in the Ministry. The leader of the Opposition in another place is a lawyer, and the leader of the Opposition in the Senate is a lawyer. The legal members appear to consider that the)’ should look after their own private business first, and attend o the work of the country subsequently. Many of us have travelled something like 1,000 miles in order to attend to-day to what, we believe to be the most important business of the session. We should not have done so except for the belief that the Tariff would be brought on, but we have come here only to find that our work cannot be carried on, and that the Tariff cannot be settled at the earliest possible moment, simply because there are rather too many lawyers in the House of Representatives on the one hand, and in the Senate on the other.
– What should we do without them 1
– We should get on a little better if those who are lawyers would, to a greater extent, sacrifice their own business to the requirements of the country. When they take upon them* selves the position of representatives of the people, they should attend to their public engagements, and allow their private work to stand over. That is what many of us have to do, and the)’ should act in the same way as an ordinary honorable senator does. I have allowed my private affairs to be put aside in order that I may be here, and I know that many other honorable senators have done so.
– Many honorable senators who are lawyers do the same.
– I do not mean to say that they are all bad. One of the points of Jack Cade’s charter was to kill off all the lawyers. I do not desire to do that. Lawyers are very necessary in their place, and sometimes they are exceedingly usef ul here. But it seems to me to be a pity that, because certain legal members occupy important positions here, we should have to delay our business. It should not be so, but the fact is that we are not in a position to proceed with business without the presence of these gentlemen.
– I think it is rather to be regretted that we cannot proceed with our work to-day. I have very great sympathy with one honorable senator who is a member of the legal fraternity. I refer to Senator O’Connor. I have expressed my sympathy with him upon more than one occasion, and I intend to declare my disapprobation of the failure of the Government as a whole to have a second paid Minister in the Senate.
– This delay is not due to the absence of Senator O’Connor.
– It seems to me that it is, and I regret that these delays should take place. Senator O’Connor is a very useful member of the Senate, and he certainly should be paid for his services as a Minister. If there is no other means by which that can be done, his colleagues in the Government should forego portion of their salaries.
– That is not the question.
– Iamsure the honorable and learned senator will agree with me that it is a matter of some importance.
– It has nothing to do with the question.
– It has a great deal to do with it. If Senator O’Connor had been in receipt of a proper salary as a Minister of the Crown, he would have been here to-day to discharge his duties to the country.
-I doubt it.
– I do not. I think we all regret the absence of the leader of the Opposition, but he occupies an exceptional position. It is unfair that we should have only one paid Minister in this House. If, because of sickness or some other reason, the Postmaster-General could not attend, and necessity compelled the absence of the only other Minister in this Chamber, what would be our position ? The position is one which we should resent. I shall raise my objection to it on every possible occasion, and will not let it drop until it has been remedied. If the Constitution will not permit of another salaried
Minister, the paid Ministers of the Crown should be a little more unselfish. I think the time has come for plain speaking. There is an undoubted manifestation of selfishness on the part of the paid members of the Ministry, which is certainly not very commendable. I do not think that their attitude in regard to Senator O’Connor says much for their magnanimity. The time has come when the Senate should demand in language which cannot be misunderstood that there should be a second paid Minister in the Senate, in order that the business of the country may be transacted and our duties discharged in a proper way.
– I did not at first intend to speak to this motion, butI have felt constrained to rise owing to the interjection made just now by the Post master- General that the delay in dealing with the Tariff is not in any way due to Senator O’Connor’s absence. It was stated in the press this morning that an adjournment would be suggested to-day, and as the Postmaster-General has proposed that the consideration of the Tariff should be adjourned till Tuesday next, it is clear that the announcement in the press emanated from the Government. I desire to know why honorable senators were not informed in advance that this step would be takenI It is perfectly clear that for some days past the Government have been resolved to adopt the course now proposed.
– That is not so.
– Then why did the Postmaster-General say that he had intended to proceed to-day with the Electoral Bill, but that unfortunately he was unable to do so because the amendments made by another place had not been printed?
-Until 12.30 to-day I was prepared to go on with the Tariff.
– What has happened since then to prevent us from going on with the Tariff to-morrow? I do not say we should go on with it to-day, because the amendments made by another place have not been circulated, and it would be impossible to discuss the situation without having them before us. There is nothing to prevent us from going on with the Tariff tomorrow.
– The honorable senator has been howling from the first about the urgency of the Electoral Bill.
– The honorable and learned senator is wrong. In the first place I never howl, and in the second place I do not think there is any reason why the consideration of the Tariff should be postponed.
– I withdraw the word “ howling.”
– It is remarkable that the course which the press indicated would be adopted has been followed by the Government, and that the PostmasterGeneral should say that the two circumstances have no relation. He expects us to be very confiding indeed when he requests us to accept that statement. Still, we are bound to accept it, and I presume that there is some explanation which the Minister cannot give to-day. Honorable senators on both sides are prepared to go on with the business, and I see 710 reason whatever for its postponement until next Tuesday.
– I am at one with those who deprecate the great waste of time involved in the postponement of the consideration of this matter until next week. I also deprecate the personal attacks made upon absent senators. My own opinion is that we shall get through the Tariff much more quickly if both Senators O’Connor and Symon remain out of the Chamber, because they take up more time than any other two members of the Senate. I am quite sure that in the absence of one of them, at least, we were getting on splendidly, and when the honorable and learned senator returned we got into the old way of taking up agreatdeal of time unnecessarily. SenatorPulsford is anxious to know what the Government propose to do, and in the interests of honorable senators who sit in the labour corner, I suggest that a bargain be made. The Government should say what attitude they propose to adopt, and Senator Pulsford on behalf of the Opposition should say what was agreed to in the caucus this morning.
– The caucus which was not held.
– What we desire to know, and what the country desires to know, is what Senator Pulsford and his colleagues propose to do. I regret the delay, and though I am inclined to think that it is not due to the absence either of Senator O’Connor or Senator Symon, better arrangements might have been made to enable us to do business. If it is necessary to postpone business at all, why not postpone it until to-morrow 1 I am sure that the resources at the disposal of the Government Printer will enable him to supply us with any number of copies of amendments. I suppose there are 50 or 100 compositors walking about Melbourne who would be glad to get a day’s work in preparing the printed matter necessary to enable us to go on with our duties. Some honorable senators seem to think that the Tariff ought to be a permanent subject of debate in the Federal Parliament, and they are anxious to keep it going for ever. I, for one, deprecate that kind of tiling. I was in great hopes, owing to the handsome way in which the House of Representatives has met the requests of this Chamber, that we should be able to put it through finally here in a few days.
– This debate illustrates the great difficulty there is in finding out beforehand what are the wishes of the Senate with regard to the course of action to be adopted in any case. What I said before upon this matter is absolutely correct. I bad a telegram on Monday from an honorable senator asking me whether the Senate would meet on Wednesday, and what I proposed to do. I sent him a reply on Tuesday morning to the effect that the Senate would meet on Wednesday, and that I proposed to go straight on with the Tariff. That certainly was my intention. I saw a paragraph in one of the papers this morning
– The Argus. Was that a blind guess?
– And I think it would have been much better out of the paper, because it was calculated to mislead.. But that did not influence me in the direction that has been suggested, because I still intended to go straight on with the Tariff this afternoon. During this morning I looked up all the honorable senators I could find ; I consulted all who were about the building, and all to whom I spoke expressed their willingness to have the Tariff postponed until Tuesday, and considered that we might go on with the Electoral Bill this afternoon. That was the position up to half-past twelve o’clock to day. Up to that time I had taken all possible steps to ascertain beforehand what would be the wish of the Senate in this matter, and, so far as information reached me, I came to the conclusion that the Senate desired that the Tariff should be postponed, and that the
Electoral Bill should be gone on with this afternoon.
– The Senate did not desire it.
– I said that all the information I had led me to suppose that that would be the wish of the Senate, because every honorable senator I had an opportunity of consulting led me to think so.
– Did they say that was their wish, or that they had no objection to that 1
– I told one or two honorable senators then that it would be necessary for me to hurry up the papers, and to try to make myself acquainted with the details of the amendments made by the House of Representatives in the Electoral Bill. I went from here at 1 2.30 o’clock, and devoted a great part of the time, which should have been given to my midday meal to getting ready to go on with the Electoral Bill this afternoon. I was preparing to do so until five or ten minutes before the time for the meeting of the Senate when I got information from the Government Printer that he would not be able to supply copies of the amendments for the convenience of honorable senators. That has also been doubted, but it is perfectly correct, because although Senator Neild has said that he saw a copy of the Bill some time ago in which the amendments had been printed, some in black letter, and some in erased type, before the amendments had been made, it was necessary to send the message dealing with the amendments, and that message consists of twelve -sheets, and 196 amendments.
– Does not the honorable and learned senator think that it would be better to withdraw the Bill and introduce a fresh one?
– That is a herring across the trail. Perhaps the honorable senator, having said that he does not believe me, does not desire to hear my explanation.
– I have not said that I do not believe the honorable and learned senator. I never uttered a word upon which such a construction could be placed.
– I understood the honorable senator to invite the Senate to believe that the explanation that we could not go on with the Electoral Bill this afternoon because the necessary papers had not been received from the Government Printer, was not the true one. It is possible that if this discussion lasts much longer the Government Printer will have them printed and sent up, in which case there will be no obstacle to our going on. I desire to point out that what I stated previously is perfectly correct, and no delay taking place in connexion with the consideration of the Tariff this afternoon is due to the absence of the Vice-President of the Executive Council, the leader of the Opposition, or any one else. I should have carried out my intention to go on with the Tariff if it had not been that up till halfpast twelve every honorable senator I consulted upon the subject seemed to think that the better course would be to postpone its consideration, and go on with the Electoral Bill this afternoon, and that Bill would have been considered if it had not been for the difficulty in supplying copies of the amendments. I know that some, honorable senators from other States feel that it is a hardship that after they are brought here there should be no work for them to do. But they must know, if thev have considered the matter, that it is impossible for a representative of the Government to declare beforehand what the Senate is going to do. It is impossible for the Government to say that certain business will be proceeded with or be postponed, and that is a reason why the publication of a paragraph such as that to which I have referred is to be deprecated. Honorable senators seeing such a paragraph will consider, as one honorable senator has suggested, that it was inspired, and will look upon it as an invitation to them to stop away. I very much regret that such a paragraph should have appeared. I say again, and it is known to a great many honorable senators, that my intention was to go straight on with the Tariff until half-past twelve today, when it appeared to me to be the general wish of honorable senators to postpone its consideration to a future date and go on with the Electoral Bill.
– The writer of the paragraph must have had some authority for the statements made in it.
– Senator Dawson may know more about that than I do, but I am inclined to think that journalists sometimes publish information without authority. I am sorry that there is not business to go on with this afternoon, but I certainly did my best in advance to consult the wishes of the Senate, and to bring business before honorable senators in the consideration of which they could have been usefully employed.
Question put. The Senate divided -
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill returned from House of Representatives with amendments.
Senator DRAKE laid upon the table the following papers : -
Telephone exchanges in Tasmania (Return).
Ordered to be printed.
Governor-General’s establishment and Federal Executive Council.
Sugar duties and regulations.
Amended regulation fixing rates for other than press for conversations over telophone and trunk lines.
Regulations fixing rates for conversations over telephone trunk lines for press business.
Regulation relating to the naval and military forces.
Report on pearl-shelling industry inort Darwin and the Northern Territory.
asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice -
If it is the intention of the Government to pay overtime to those officers in Tasmania in the Customs department who have worked the overtime shown in the return laid upon the table of the Senate?
– The answer to the honorable and learned senator’s question is as follows : -
No ;but compensating leave of absence on pay will be granted in accordance with the rule laid down throughout the department in the Commonwealth as regards this special ovortime worked during the stress of the lost financial year.
– Then weshall have a debate on that.
asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice -
– The answer to the honorable senator’s question is as follows : -
Motion (by Senator Drak proposed -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I rise to ask the Postmaster-General if he will see that steps are taken to have distributed as early as possible, copies of the amendments in the Electoral Bill to which we have to give our attention to-morrow?
– It is the duty of the officers of the Senate to see that they are distributed at the earliest possible moment.
– I have only drawn attention to the matter in view of the fact that one accident has happened, and that I do not wish another to occur.
– I had an intimation that the papers would be sent down by four o’clock.
– Would it not be as well under the circumstances for the motion to be withdrawn, and the President to leave the chair until eight o’clock ?
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 3.36 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 20 August 1902, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1902/19020820_senate_1_11/>.