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Thursday, 6 May 1920

Election of Constitutional Convention

Debate resumed from 29th April (vide page 1623), on motion by Mr. Austin Chapman -

1.   That, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that as early as practicable a Constitutional Convention should he summoned for the purpose of considering the need, substance, and form of any amendment of section 51 of the Constitution, and that such Convention shall -

(a)   consist of ten (10) representatives of each State, elected on the existing Federal franchise, according to the principle of proportional representation;

(b)   hold meetingsat such times and places as it may think fit;

(c)   submit within twelve months to the Governor-General the draft of any amendments adopted by such Convention.

2.   That any such amendments so adopted shall be a proposed law for the alteration of the Constitution, and shall be dealt with in accordance with section 128 of the Constitution for passage by Parliament, and submission to the electors.

3.   That an Enabling Bill to give effect to the foregoing should be introduced to Parliament as early as practicable.

Upon which Mr. Kerby had moved, by way of amendment -

That in paragraph 1 the words " a Constitutional Convention should be summoned" be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words, " legislative provision should be made for the summoning of a Convention and that the words " of section 51 " be left out.

That in sub-paragraph (a) all the words after the words " consist of " be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " an equal number of representatives of each State."

That paragraph 3 be left out.

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