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Thursday, 29 July 1920

Mr TUDOR - I desire, Mr. Deputy. Speaker, to ask you a question, without notice, in reference ; to the procedure adopted last night in preventing the admission to the galleries of persons who had received orders. Honorable members, perhaps, are aware - at any rate, metropolitan members are -that applications from members of the public for admission to this House are sometimes sent in to honorable members a week ahead, and we obtain them from the Clerk Assistant, or the Serjeant-at-Arms. These tickets are limited to two for each member for any particular sitting. Standing order 64 provides -

Every member may each day, by written orders, admit three strangers to the gallery.

That, of course, refers to the gallery upstairs, because standing order 63 provides -

The Speaker only shall have the privilege of admitting strangers into the portion of the chamber below the Bar. Senators shall have the privilege of admission there without orders.

I understand that the front seat, on one side of the lower gallery, is reserved for senators, and the front seat, onthe other side, for members of the Victorian State Parliament. Each member has the right to issue two tickets, hut the holders of such tickets, last night, were. refused admission. It was then impossible to raise the question to which I am now referring, though I have raised the point before, when you, sir, were in the chair in Committee, and Mr. Speaker was brought in. I also" ask whether it would not have been possible to inform honorable members of the procedure it was intended to adopt. Personally, I am opposed to any such procedure. In any case, the lower, or Speaker's gallery, is too small, and even when crowded will not hold more than fifty persons, so that if a disturbance did take place the offenders could be dealt with. On the only occasion when a disturbance happened, the whole of the top gallery was cleared, because of the conduct of two or three amongst the1 visitors. I should like to know why both of the galleries were kept clear last night, and why honorable members were not informed that it was intended to keep them clear. "Why was this done, and on whose authority?

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