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Thursday, 21 May 1970

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) - Mr Speaker,I understand that this announcement is made in accordance with standing order 298 which states:

Any message from the Governor-General recommending an appropriation of revenue or moneys for the purposes of or in relation to an amendment made or requested by the Senate in a Bill which originated in the House shall be announced before that amendment or requested amendment, as the case may be, is considered.

It seems to me that this procedure is peculiar. The message recommending appropriation of the main part of the expenditure involved in this measure was announced, as is normal, after the second reading stage was completed. This is a Bill which, under the terms of the Constitution, the Senate may not amend. The Senate has got over this restriction by the use of this curious power of request. I suggest it is time that this House asserted its rights in respect of what are called money Bills - that they must originate only in this House and that they may not be amended. A request would not have been necessary if the House had had the commonsense to accept the amendment moved in this place by a colleague of mine. Because the Government had sufficient numbers in this chamber but not in the other place it now has to eat humble pie, as it were, and to accept the words proposed in the request. At this stage, if I may, I would like to draw the attention of honourable members to a document-

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