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Friday, 8 May 1914

Debate resumed from 7th May (vide page 712), on motion by Senator Oakes -

That the following Address-in-Reply be agreed to: -

To His Excellency the Governor-General. May it Please Your Excellency -

We, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament..

Senator Oakes - Before the debate is resumed, sir, I desire to make a personal explanation. During Senator McGregor's speech, yesterday, I made an interjection, which is reported in the Hansard proof as follows. -

It is a poor compliment to their Leader that there should be only five or six members of the party opposite present in the chamber to listen to him.

Senator Findley - How did you get a copy of that?

Senator Oakes - I am not quoting from Senator McGregor's proof copy. I said that during his speech I made an interjection.

Senator Findley - You have a proof; how did you get the interjection?

Senator Oakes - I have the quotation I made. Is the honorable senator satisfied now?

Senator Mullan - It is not usual for an honorable senator to get a proof of his interjections sent to him.

Senator Oakes - Surely it is compotent for an honorable senator to go to the Hansard staff and ask what the nature of his interjection was? I think it is quite right that he should be able to do so. At any rate, I wish to make a personal explanation. After the interjection was made, I was perfectly surprised to hear the quorum bells ringing, for I had no intention to call attention to the state of the Senate. On looking at the

Standing Orders, with1 which I was acquainted, I found that an interjection is permissible from a senator provided that he draws attention to a quorum not being present. I did not use the word " quorum," nor did I draw attention to the state of the Senate. I desire, sir, to get a definite ruling on the subject. Is it to be understood that if an honorable senator draws attention to the absence of members of a party from the chamber, without referring to the state of the Sen ate, that is a call for a quorum?

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