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Thursday, 28 April 1932


Mr ARCHDALE PARKHILL (Warringah) (Minister for the Interior) . - The matter that has been raised by the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. R. Green) was also brought up in another place. The answer that was supplied to the question asked by the honorable member explains the position from the legal point of- view. The obtaining of a direction on the subject is clearly a matter which concerns the aggrieved person. The Constitution provides that only a candidate or voter concerned can approach the High Court in such circumstances. The electoral administration had no duty to perform in connexion with the resignation of Senator Duncan or the election of Senator Mooney. The procedure is set out in section 21 of the Constitution, which reads -

Whenever a vacancy happens in the Senate, the President, or if there is no President, or if the President is absent from thu Commonwealth, the Governor-General, shall notify the same to the Governor of the State in the representation of which the vacancy has happened.

That procedure was followed.' Further action is then taken in accordance with section IS of the Constitution which- provides, inter aiia -

If the place .of a ' senator becomes vacant before thu expiration of his term of service, the Houses of Parliament of the State for which he was chosen shall, sitting .and voting together, choose a person to hold the place until the expiration of the term, or until' the election of a. successor as hereafter provided, whichever first happens . . . .At the next general ejection of members of the House of Representatives or at the next election of senators for the State, whichever first happens, a successor shall, - if the term has. not then expired, be chosen to hold the place from the date ' of his election until the expiration of the term. The name of any senator so chosen shall be certified by the Governor of the State to the Governor-General.

Prior to Senator Duncan's resignation on the '1st December, a writ had been issued by His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, commanding the Commonwealth Electoral Officer in that State to cause election to be made according to law of three senators to serve in the Senate- from and after the 1st July, 1932.


Mr Holman - I rise to a point of order. . Is it right for an honorable member to make a statement in this chamber affecting the validity of the representation in another chamber? I submit that this House would be properly aggrieved if similar action were taken ib another place, and, if my view is considered by you .to be correct, sir, I suggest that the Minister should not proceed further at this stage.







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