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Friday, 23 July 1920

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - In reference to the point of order raised by the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Ryan), the standing order relating to the closure reads: -

(a)   After any question has been proposed, either in the House or in any Committee of the Whole, a motion may be made by any member, rising in his place, and without notice, and whether any other member is addressing the Chair or not, "That the question be now put," and the motion shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.

Therefore, I rule that the motion of the Prime Minister was in order.

Mr Ryan - The standing order uses the words " after any question has been proposed." That means proposed from the Chair. I submit that there is no question before the House until it has been stated by Mr. Speaker. The mere fact that some honorable member rises and intimates that he intends to move a motion does not place such motion before the House; it must be submitted to the House from the Chair. Therefore, jio motion to closure debate can be entertained until the question has been submitted from the Chair.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - My interpretation of the rule differs from that of the honorable member, and I repeat my ruling that the Prime Minister was within his rights, and that his motion to closure the debate was in. order.

Mr Ryan - I give notice of my intention to move that your ruling be disagreed with.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - On a point of order, I submit that there is a standing order which enables Mr. Speaker. in his discretion, to refuse to accept frivolous points of order, or motions of dissent put forward by honorable members for the purpose of obstructing business. That that is the purpose of honorable members opposite is patent to everybody.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! I have not yet received from the honorable member for "West Sydney his written notice of dissent.

Mr Ryan - In order that there may be no misapprehension, such as arose in connexion with the motion of dissent which was dealt with on Wednesday, I am willing to include in my written notice of motion, your own wording of your ruling, sir.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - The honorable member is taking charge of the House, and that must be stopped some way or other.

Mr Ryan - I give notice that I shall move-

That Mr. Speaker's ruling, that the motion " That the question be now put " oan be received before the question itself has been proposed to the House by Mr. Speaker, be disagreed to.

Mr Wise - That is not the Speaker's ruling. The Speaker does not " propose " the motion at all.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I did not "propose" the matter to the House. If the honorable member means that I put the question to the House, he had better express it so for the sake of accuracy.

Mr Ryan - My point is that you should have proposed the question to the House.

Mr Wise - Mr. Speaker puts or states the question; he does not propose it.

Mr Ryan - " Propose " and "state" are synonymous terms. I am quite willing to add the words " or stated," so as to make it read "before the question itself has been proposed or stated to the House by Mr. Speaker."

Notice of motion amended accordingly.

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