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Wednesday, 28 July 1920

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon J M Chanter (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Ryan) has given notice of his intention to move -

That Mr. Deputy Speaker's ruling - that a motion "That the question be now put," can be received before the question itself has been proposed or stated to the House by Mr. Deputy Speaker -be disagreed to.

But before the honorable member proceeds, I would like to make a few remarks so that my attitude may not be misunderstood. I need not repeat the ruling which I gave, and to which the honorable member takes objection. It is still my opinion that the framers of the standing order providing for the closure motion contemplated that the motion should be submitted to the House for decision immediately on being moved. Otherwise, at least two hours and ten minutes might be occupied by the mover and seconder of a motion before the closure motion could be submitted. However, it is only right to say that I find from the past records that the present Speaker (Sir Elliot Johnson), for whom I am acting in consequence of the very serious illness of his wife, hasruled that a closure motion cannot be put until the original question has first been stated from the Chair. My ruling, therefore, is in conflict with that of Mr. Speaker. The standing order reads as follows: -

After any question has been proposed, either in the House or in any Committee of the whole, a motion may he 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.

I have no wish to differ from a ruling given by Mr. Speaker, but with all due respect, I contend that the Chair never makes a proposition. It is the honorable member who makes the proposition. On the occasion; on which the closure was moved, the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Mahony) moved a motion, and then proceeded to speak to it. The usual statement from the Chair is, " That the question" - whatever it may be - "be considered bythe House." Those who are of opinion that it should be passed are asked to vote "Yes," and those who are of the contrary opinion are asked to vote "No." I regret that I cannot withdraw the interpretation which I have given. With great respect, I have to differ from Mr. Speaker, and submit the matter to the decision of the House.

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