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Over the Speaker's Chair
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Friday.
The Senate has had it all to itself to-day, for the House of Representa- tives adjourned on Thursday night un- til Tuesday next. The Ottawa agree- ment has taken wp the whole day, the principal speech being that of Senator McLachlan. Minister in Charge of Development.
'It is my belief," said Senator McLachlan, "that the Ottawa confer- ence and the measure of agreement there arrived at will constitute a land- mark in history-a landmark pointing the way to world recovery." Those were his opening words: and then he plunged into history-"ransacked" It, as, Mr. Hughes would say-tracing the
gradual growth and evolution of the' british Commonwealth of Nations up to "the present universal depression that makes the extension and improve- ment of Imperial trade a matter of urgent Importance to all parts of the Empire," He regarded the extension and greater activity of Empire trade as the most hopeful means of stimu- lating demand In the world markets and of restoring a sound level of wholesale commodity prices.
In commanding the agreement to the Senate, he said that, whilst it was an axiomatic principle that' one Parlia- ment cannot bind its successors, it was to be hoped that the goodwill and fraternity which had made the Ottawa agreement possible would not render facile the abrogation of the agreement before its expiry at the end of five
A SECRET DOCUMENT
The fact that the Minister for Development had copious notes in front of him and read long extracts from them was commented upon by Senator Dunn, who followed. He said that if speeches were to be read in this way they might as well be put in an envelope and posted to the President for inclusion in Hansard without bothering fellow-Senators at ill. Only the day before, Senator MacDonald made some similar re- marks, and said it looked as if we would soon be conducting our politics by correspondence. (As this would have a good deal of time and rancour, the idea may be worth exploring.)
However, it wai not long before Senator Dunn was reading passages of enormous length from the news- papers-newspapers published at home and abroad which were not enamoured of what had, been done at Ottawa. Alter a while Sir George Pearce, the Government leader, asked him what he was quoting from.
"What I am quoting from now is a secret document," replied Senator Dunn, with his head away up in the air. "You don't catch me! I ask that Hansard take down what I am saying, as when I am finished I in- tend to keep this secret document in my pocket."
Sir George pressed for an answer to his question. "Well," said Senator Dunn, apparently in a state of con- siderable confusion, "I am quoting what Mr. Brown says in the 'Argus' -the Winnibek 'Argus'." As he had been talking about Quebec and Mon- treal and Ottawa, It was assumed that he was now referring to some paper published in Winnipeg. So he was allowed to proceed. -But a keen ob- server would have noticed that he was rolling his tongue in his cheek. There was a sequel, but we must not an anticipate.
"OH, THESE LOVELY JU-JU'S!"
Senator Dunn proceeded. He painted a wonderful picture of the voyage of the Aorangi, which took our delegates to Ottawa, "with a great troupe of
acrobatic assistants who could walk the political tightrope." Then the scene changed to Ottawa, and "the big drum and the brass trumpets were banged," and it read (he said) like a page out of Dickens depicting the English elections of the 'Seventies.
"Oh, these lovely Ju-Ju's!" he said. "Oh, these delightful Arcadians!" said he. "Oh, these squatters from O'Connell Street and Swanston Street, and Flinders Lane, and King William Street!" he said. "Oh, my!" said he.
During his speech he called Sir George Pearce a "political renegade," and the President told him he could not use the word "renegade," as it was unparliamentary. Thereupon the Sydney Senator referred to Sir George as "the Minister for the Emu War." "Let him get back to his emus!" He
THE MYSTERIOUS MR. BROWN
After lunch, when Senator Dunn had concluded his speech, the Government leader rose and moved that the docu- ments from which the Senator had been quoting be laid on the table. Sir George said they had a right to know who the mysterious Mr. Brown was. They must be satisfied as to the authenticity of these documents which Hansard was not allowed to
In this he was supported by Sen- ator Johnston, who said that serious; inter-Dominion complications might ensue if the matter was not cleared)
But Senator Dunn was not all put out. Far from it. In fact, he put out his tongue and licked his lips.
It transpired that he had been having! a joke at the expense of Sir George, "I knew the leader of the Govern- ment would bo a stickybeak," he said, "so I referred him to the great family
The typewritten documents from which he had quoted wore merely ex- tracts fiom the Manchester "Guard- ian,'' and he had already handed them to Hansard. He had nothing to hide, he said, and he would be greatly pleased If Sir George would have the
Senator MacDonald, of Queensland, was the next speaker. Like Senator
Dunn, he opposed the agreement, in
tending that our secondary industry
should be fully protested agains British or any other competition it which
would prevent them from expanding
and giving employment to our people. He did not see why we should be
bound to Britain's chariot-wheel."
The Senate stands adjourned until Wednesday next. '