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Thursday, 17 November 1910


Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I take this opportunity of suggesting to the Government that whilst we are working at high pressure - as we are now - they should accept responsibility for so expediting work in the printing office that we may have before us printed copies of all amendments to which we are asked to assent. In the present case I admit that the amendment proposed is a . simple one. But it frequently happens that Ministers ask us to suspend the Standing Orders - a course which is readily agreed to - and leave us with only a hazy idea of what they propose to do. lt is rather unfair to ask us to suspend the Standing Orders to deal with an amendment which is simply stated from the Chair. Coming to the amendment itself, the Vice-President of the Executive Council has scarcely given the Committee that full information to which it is entitled. He has affirmed that the clause is unnecessary because it is already embodied in our Defence ActBut he might have pointed us to the section in that Act in which the provision is embodied.


Senator Guthrie - The wording of the clause is in accordance with a section of the Defence Act.


Senator MILLEN - Senator Guthrie'sstatement confirms my argument. He says that the wording of the clause is "in accordance with " a section of the Defence Act. But how frequently do we find two or more persons disagreeing upon the question of whether an amendment is in accordance with the provisions of a particular Statute? I would further point out that the Constitution itself covers the clause which we are asked to delete. Section 119 of the Constitution reads -

The Commonwealth shall protect every State against invasion, and, on the application of the Executive Government of the State, against domestic violence.

In view of that section, is is unnecessary to embody the clause under consideration in an Act of Parliament, and therefore I have no objection to the course which is proposed by the Government.

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [3.45]. - I should like to know what sections of the Defence Act and of the Constitution embody the principle contained in this clause ?


Senator McGregor - Section 51 of the Defence Act and section 119 of the Constitution.


Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - I observe that section 51 of the Defence Act provides for the calling out of the permanent Defence Forces of the Commonwealth in. the event of the Citizen Forces being insufficient, and also for the calling out of the Volunteer and Militia Forces should that be necessary to protect a. State against domestic violence. It appears to me that the clause which the House of Representatives has struck out of the Bill is in furtherance of section 119 of the Constitution. That section does not show the way in which the Executive Government would call out the forces. It might be held by men serving in the forces that they were not liable to be called out to meet a case of domestic violence. I do not see any objection to retaining the clause in a Bill providing for naval defence, where it would suffice to inform the members of the Naval Forces of what their duties were in this respect.


Senator Givens - To retain the clause in this Bill would be mere surplusage, would it not?


Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - I see no objection in that, and there may be an advantage in retaining within the four corners of a Bill providing for naval defence a provision which relieves the members of the forces from the necessity of looking up some other Act. However, I shall not object to the amendment.

Motion agreed to.

Resolution reported; report adopted.







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