June 5, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


David Alexander Gordon



Average Average length of length days of session sitting days, hours
South Australia, average for 25
years of 82 4:30
Tasmania, average for 25 years
83 4:28Victoria (previous to 1880).... 64 6:51
Now, as to the tactics pursued here, we on this side are not alone in complaining. We find that newspaper organs representing the Conservative party also complain. In this connection, I would take the liberty of reading an article which appeared in the Montreal ' Star,' a paper well known to hon. gentlemen opposite :
So far as we can gather from the sleepy reports which the papers have been able to give us of the ' terrible struggle ' which went on at Ottawa during the last three days of last week, it was a fight for more readiness to bring down information. Now an opposition is certainly justified in demanding the fullest information. But the minister who was behind with his ' information ' explained that his department was getting it ready as rapidly as it could, and that he would soon lay it on the table. He did not refuse to give the information; he promised to give it.. . . The result was the opposition kept parliament sitting, at great cost to the country, through three weary and empty days while they protested against a minister who could not turn out information faster'than his clerks could work. Obstruction is the heaviest piece of siege artillery available to an opposition. It is, moreover, a gun which can very easily blow itself to pieces. At Westminster it has blown itself to pieces, and that is a free parliament. At Washington the very pieces have been buried out of sight, and the minority lies helpless at the feet of the majority

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