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Thursday, 24 October 1912

The PRESIDENT - Before the VicePresident of the Executive Council replies, I wish to direct the attention of the Senate to a practice, which seems to be growing, of using newspaper paragraphs as a method of getting behind the Standing Orders. Standing order 97 provides that -

In putting any such question, no argument or opinion shall be offered, nor inference, nor imputation made, nor any facts stated, except so far as may be necessary to explain such question, and the President may direct the Clerk to alter any question so as to conform with this order.

If honorable senators quote newspaper extracts containing inferences and imputations, it will simply be a method of getting behind the standing order which I have quoted. I trust that honorable senators will not, in the future, pursue this practice. If they wish to ask a question based upon information published in a newspaper, they can do so without reading the extract.

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