Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 4 June 1914

Senator RAE (New South Wales) .-Mr. President-

Senator Oakes - Stone-walling !

Senator RAE - The frivolous interjections uttered by honorable senators on this side are evidence enough of the flippant way in which they are prepared to treat great public questions. The statement made by the Leader of the Senate that he, on behalf of the Government, would not offer any facilities for the passage of these proposals was, of course, neither more nor less than we could expect from him; but his absolute failure to debate the questions cannot be excused by his contention that the hopeless minority in which his party finds itself is a justification for letting them slide.

Senator Stewart - It will be more hopeless next time.

Senator RAE - Possibly. At any rate, honorable senators know that the electors have to finally decide in these matters. Therefore, if the Leader of the Government here could have brought forward solid and substantial arguments against the passage of these proposals, it was his bounden duty to the electors to give them the benefit of those arguments, and his failure to do so cannot be excused on the ground that he would have no possibility of carrying his views in this Chamber. It appears to me that it is treating the electors with the utmost contempt for honorable senators on the Government side to decline to discuss these matters, which, whatever any electors' views may be, all must admit to be most important. I do not intend to speak at any length on the proposals, but there are one or two points to which I wish to briefly allude. First let me allude to one or two of the objections which have been urged from time to time to giving the Commonwealth Parliament any increase of powers. One peculiar line of argument that has been generally followed has been that the States are fitted to deal with all those matters which come close home to the people, in regard to their social and commercial life and their domestic affairs. This class of critic pour contempt on the Federation as merely a method of handling Defence and Customs questions, and possibly one or two other things. But they are continually decrying it as a Parliament which is constitutionally unable to deal with questions which affect the daily life of the citizens. I think that any one who peruses the Constitution must see that it does deal very closely, giving the fullest possible powers, with many matters of the utmost importance to the daily life of every citizen. We need not take the whole of the thirtynine articles which enumerate the powers of this Parliament, because some of them are of a mere machinery class. But let us take the actual subjects of legislation. Apart from the tremendous importance of the incidence and the method of taxation, we have to recollect that the price of commodities - this is apart from the mere taxation which the average citizen has to bear in the shape of imposts payable to the Government - is affected in almost every branch of trade and commerce by the Customs dutieson various articles; that the imposition of a duty or its removal may make an enormous difference to a considerable section of the people, even in regard to one article. When we come to consider the wide powers which are entirely absorbed by the Commonwealth in regard to Customs and Excise duties, we see that in regard to the ordinary matters of life this Parliament has a tremendous power. Again, if we take the settlement of the land, which, as far as our separate land laws are concerned, is a State matter, we see that here again the position is affected by the power which the Commonwealth possesses, and which it has exercised to some extent to pass land taxation. We can influence and control the land policy of the States by the method in which we handle our taxing power. Then, if we take purely commercial matters, we find that, apart from the imposition of Customs duties, we can prohibit the importation of any goods which are considered dangerous or obnoxious in any degree, and we can also regulate the export of all goods. We can control industrial relations to some extent even in the simple matter of deciding as to what sized bags shall be imported or exported, and the weight of commodities which they shall contain. If we go into what might be called the social and domestic relations, we find that the Commonwealth

Parliament lias the .power to pass uniform laws concerning divorce and marriage, and the custody of infants who may be affected by such proceedings. If we take more national matters, we find thai w« have the sole right to say what class <>i" persons shall be allowed to enter this country, and what their health or their complexion shall be. We have the right to exclude criminals or aliens of any particularly objectionable class or colour. Therefore our influence is felt in every direction. This may appear obvious enough to honorable senators who know quite as much about this matter as I do myself, many of them, perhaps more, but my object is to point out to the numerous electors, who have been led to believe that the function of this Parliament is nothing higher than the management of military and naval questions, and Customs matters on a uniform basis; to show to those who read our debates - and I am glad to say that the number of readers of Hansard is increasing every day - that we have innumerable duties, powers, and responsibilities cast upon us.

Senator Oakes - That is without altering the Constitution?

Senator RAE - Yes. We have the sole, control of postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and wireless communication. We have the power to legislate for the sole control of lighthouses and to pass measures safeguarding property and life. We have the sole fight to control immigration, emigration, and navigation. We have absolute and unlimited powers in regard to taxation in any direction that this Parliament may think fit, with only one very small restriction, and that is that we must not discriminate between States or parts thereof. We have a good deal of power to act for the benefit of the agriculturist and the primary producer, quite apart from Customs taxation, by adopting the latest scientific method of foretelling the state of the weather by our power to deal with astronomical and meteorological phenomena. Again, in regard to the collection of statistics and census matters, the Commonwealth Parliament has full and absolute control. We have the sole power to determine the nature of the currency and the coinage, and to deal with weights and measures, and many other matters which enter into the daily- commercial and social life. It is unnecessary to further elaborate my statement. My object is to point out that the argument which has been so often used, that it is dangerous to intrust the Commonwealth Parliament with the powers asked for in these amendments, must either fall to the ground absolutely, or, if it is to be upheld at all, those who argue in that way should argue that we ought to be deprived of many of our existing very great powers and responsibilities. If we are not fit to be trusted with the desired added, powers then we are not fit to be intrusted with the powers we already possess, because many of the latter are greater in certain directions than many of the former. When one comes to analyze the whole of the proposed amendments he will find that very largely, if not entirely, they are designed for the purpose of giving effect to the powers which are already embodied in the Constitution. In other words, they are really amendments to make more clear and legal those powers which the framers of the Constitution believed that they had intrusted to this Parliament. I wish to point to one item in regard to industrial matters where our present restrictions work detrimentally and unfairly. Take, for instance, the Defence Act. There is nothing more frequent in my experience, which is not confined to one State, than to hear parents complain of the distance which their children have to go to drill and the dangers which young lads meet with in having to be out at night. They say, " Surely the Commonwealth Parliament might have seen that these young lads drilled in the day time and that the employer should" bear any loss of time involved in attending parades." When one tells these parents that it is impossible for the Commonwealth Parliament to put in the Defence Act a section to provide that no employer shall stop payment for time lost by any cadet in attending parades they are astonished. It seems incredible to them that a Parliament possessing such enormous powers in some directions should be so limited in others, and it is difficult to convince them that one is not " pulling their legs." They really believe that it is only necessary for a majority to vote for any such proposition in both Houses for it necessarily to become law. Having lived under State Parliaments whose powers were not limited in the same way as ours are, by a written Constitution, they find it difficult to grasp the fact that their Federal members are prohibited, by the mere wording of the written Constitution, from passing certain kinds of legislation which they want them to pass. I take it that this Parliament could, if it liked, decide that the Commonwealth shall compensate any cadet for time lost in leaving his employment to attend parades. That proposal was foreshadowed by our Government when in office, and would have been introduced by them if they had secured a renewal of power. We could provide money for that purpose under our present powers out of the Consolidated Revenue, thus taxing the citizens generally to find it; but if we attempt to find the money by the obviously just method of asking the property-owners tto bear the burden, small as it is, we are met by the ridiculous position that we have no constitutional power to do so. That. is only one of hundreds of ways in which we are hampered by the absurd limitations of the Constitution. We have under our complete and absolute control a number of Territories, including a large area surrounding the future Federal Capital, something resembling a Crown Colony in the Territory of Papua, and a country larger than several European empires put together in the Northern Territory. Surely if we can be trusted to exercise those powers, there can be no danger in giving us the few additional powers asked for in these measures. I quite agree with Senator Pearce that we may look forward in the future to making still further amendments in the Constitution. One of the profoundest superstitions that has ever hindered human judgment has been the fetish-like worship of written Constitutions. After all, they are merely human documents drawn up for certain purposes by those deemed best fitted to do the work at the time; but that is no guarantee that they will be of permanent benefit to the community. Personally, I am sorry that the power to amend the Constitution lias not been made far easier. It would have been better if the method adopted by some of the individual States of the American Union had been incorporated in our Constitution. It is provided there, in some cases, that there shall be periodical conventions for remodelling the Constitution - some of them not even the length of a generation apart. In addition to whatever amendments may be passed in the meantime, there must be, after the lapse of a certain number of years, a convention elected to consider all amendments brought before it, and bring the Constitution up-to-date. This is a much better plan than the worshipping of dead Constitutions because of their antiquity and the supposed genius of their framers. We should do well if we realized that, like ali other human instruments, they are full of imperfections, and should be amended from time to time without hindrances being placed in the way. I hope that we shall have an amendment, for instance, to enable us to say that, if any double dissolutions occur, instead of the people being in any way frightened, of two elections following each other in eighteen months, the election of both Houses shall automatically come together again at the end of the next term. One of these measures proposes to give the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Court power to deal with wages and conditions of employment on railways the property of a State. One argument employed with some effect from end to end of the Commonwealth against that proposal was that if a State permitted the Commonwealth to fix the wages, hours, and other conditions of its railway servants it might as well hand over its railways to the Commonwealth at once, because whatever power controlled the industrial conditions really controlled the railways, and might as well own them. The best answer to that argument is that the Court, like other industrial tribunals, controls the wages, hours and other conditions in scores of industries in the Commonwealth now, but no one contends that by that means the Commonwealth has practically obtained the ownership of those industries. The profits still remain the property of the owners of the industries, which are still run commercially as their owners think best, and, therefore, the railways would still remain the property of the States even if the Court were empowered under the Constitution to fix the wages and labour conditions of the railway employes. It is ridiculous to say that what applies in the one case does not apply equally in the other. Many people believe that the most important of our proposals is the power asked for to nationalize industries. There are two phases of that question. Some people object altogether to giving the Commonwealth powers which might be used to such an extent as to plunge the country into enormous liabilities and commitments; others, while not so much afraid of that occurring, say that the method by which we propose to invest Parliament with the power to nationalize an industry is distinctly unfair. We propose that the question shallbe decided by Parliament itself. A resolution must be proposed declaring any industry or service to be a monopoly. This must be carried by an absolute majority in each House, and on the strength of that the industry will then become the subject of legislation which will have to run the ordinary gauntlet of parliamentary procedure. Many say that instead of following that course we should submit the matter to the High Court or some other judicial body. Not content with having two Houses of the National Legislature, and what is practically another House, in one sense, in the shape of the High Court, considering the powers that it has over this Parliament, these people propose to create a fourth legislative body to determine what industries are or are not fit subjects for nationalization. That would be ridiculous. Parliament is the proper body to determine a matter of that kind, because if it abuses the powers intrusted to it the electors can deal with it effectively at the proper time. Other people, again, object altogether to nationalization. I do not believe that pure Socialism can be brought about merely by the nationalization of a particular industry. I am prepared at all times to admit that any proposal to nationalize an industry, either by the Government taking over existing works from private owners and running them, or by the State starting afresh in competition against existing owners, must be treated on its merits and not on mere abstract or academic principles? What then, is the value of the proposed power to nationalize industries? The great safeguard that it would be to the citizens would lie in the fact that in the majority of cases its very existence would render its use unnecessary. The mere knowledge on the part of exploiters of industry in the Commonwealth that any flagrant abuse of their powers could lead to their profits being wiped out of existence, and their industry made public property, would prevent them for their own sakes from outraging public opinion

It is, therefore, impossible to conceive of a more valuable reserve power in the hands of the Commonwealth Parliament than one by which it could, whenever necessary, bring legitimate pressure to bear to prevent any combine, trust, or monopoly from exploiting and plundering the public.

Senator Oakes - The New South Wales Labour party say it is not their policy to nationalize existing industries, but to start industries in opposition to them.

Senator RAE - I am not responsible for what the New South Wales Labour party say or do, but I believe that in the majority of cases that is a far wiser way of carrying out our ideas. If it came to a question of paying a fancy price for an industry already established, or starting one with the powers and credit of the Commonwealth behind it, I should favour the latter course every time. If we could acquire an industry on reasonable terms that would be profitable to the community, it would be wise to do that at any time. But I am concerned now only with the powers we are asking for the Commonwealth Parliament. I contend that there is nothing whatever in the argument used from time to time that we are seeking for this Parliament powers which it cannot use wisely or effectively. I do not believe that there is any special virtue in centralization or in local control. These are mere phrases, and whether one or the other is good depends on the circumstances in every case. I should be the last to suggest that all things should be centralized in one Government. There are many matters which are not now sufficiently localized, and in connexion with which, if individual citizens had to exercise their responsibility, the effect would be to train them in the knowledge of civic duties and responsibilities which is sadly lacking amongst us at the present time. I believe in the public being educated by having responsibilities thrust upon them in connexion with all matters with which small communities can best deal. But where we find that the conditions of Australia make it not only possible, but desirable, that we should have uniform action in regard to important matters, we should be prepared to hand over those matters which are rightly the subject of uniform legislation tothe only power that can bring about uniformity. Senator Pearce, in his very lucid and explicit style, and without any fireworks or padding, has clearly shown to what extent it is already deemed necessary by legislators iu our various States to secure uniformity of legislation on a variety of subjects. The honorable senator, at the same time, showed how futile it is to try to effect that uniformity by conferences and resolutions of State Premiers. Before the present Federal Constitution was adopted there was a kind of permissive Federalism in operation in the shape of the Federal Council of Australia, which met at Hobart and passed resolutions on matters which the representatives of the different States considered proper subjects for uniform legislation.

Senator Ready - But nothing was done.

Senator RAE - A few things were done.

Senator Russell - There were plenty of pious resolutions passed.

Senator RAE - Just so ; but there was nothing of first-rate importance done.

Senator Oakes - The honorable senator is talking of a time before Senator Ready was born.

Senator RAE - Even though Senator Ready was not born at the time, he possesses the power to read and study. Any one who has a love for his country can easily make himself acquainted with all the facts concerning the evolution of our present Federal system in Australia. The Federal Council was established in 1884 or 1885, and was comprised of delegates from the different States who met to debate matters of mutual concern, but it proved to be entirely ineffective. S<» far as the sanction of law and constitutional methods are concerned, that Council had a better right to exist and do effective work than have the annual meetings of State Premiers which now take place. It was a constitutionally organized Federal authority, yet its proposals fell through in the vast majority of cases, because it was required that they should have the assent of each of the State Parliaments represented in the Council before they became law. Whatever good proposals were put forward had little more than the merits attaching to the good resolutions passed by a debating society. We have been told, with a great flourish of trumpets, of the splendid work which has been effected by the recent Premiers' Conference in connexion with matters requiring uniform action in the different States.

Senator Barnes - There has been splendid work accomplished. The Conference demonstrated that the Federal Parliament should have more power.

Senator RAE - Just so. There is the proposal for the locking of the Murray, and some of its tributaries. We are told that the agreement arrived at in connexion with that matter is a splendid and statesmanlike proposal. But those who ardently desire that it should be realized, and believe that the locking of the Murray will prove an effective and profitable undertaking, need not imagine that because certain resolutions on the subject were adopted by the recent Premiers' Conference the realization of the project is any nearer fruition. It is not merely necessary that each of the State Parliaments concerned shall carry legislation in both of their Houses to give effect to the proposal, but it is also necessary that the Commonwealth Parliament shall carry legislation on the subject and pass grants of money in order to enable the resolutions of the Conference to be given effect. These multifarious authorities require to bp consulted, and to pass legislation, before anything effective can be done, and it may easily happen that without any intentional neglect on the part of any one of them the matter may be allowed to rest for all practical purposes just where it is for the next seven or ten years. It is ridiculous, in the circumstances, for the Prime Minister or the State Premiers to prune themselves upon the practical work done by the Premiers' Conference. I have no objection to such Conferences. Anything that brings men together to converse upon matters of common concern should do good, even if it only tends to expose the difficulties that lie in the way. If it were not for the conviction of the necessity for uniformity of legislation upon many matters there would have been no demand for the establishment of this Federation. If a practical method could have been evolved whereby the six independent and sovereign States could have arrived at a common conclusion upon matters of common interest, and it could have been translated into legislation within a reasonable time, it would have been evolved long ago, and would have been in active operation a generation back. It is because repeated trials and experiments demonstrated the impossibility of getting six Parliaments, comprising two Houses each, to pass the same legislation at the same time that it was found necessary some years ago to establish a central Parliament, which, on all matters of common concern, should be able to speak with one voice for the one people. As the complexities of civilization become greater with the progress and development of this Commonwealth, these matters will increase in number, in connexion with which it will be found necessary to have a strong central national force, which alone will possess' an arm long enough to stretch from shore to shore of this continent. Those persons who still refuse to admit the logic of facts, to confess that they may have been in error a few years ago, when for blind partisan reasons they fought against these proposals, and who refuse to recognise the growing volume of evidence in favour of this Parliament being invested with the powers for which we ask, are the Conservatives and reactionaries of Australia, and deserve to be cast into outer darkness by the people on the first opportunity. It has been argued, and I think this constitutional aspect of the matter requires some consideration, that we are wasting our time in the Senate in passing these Bills, because the Government, as we have been informed by their representative here, will refuse to give them consideration. While the Constitution lays it down that in certain circumstances one House of this Parliament can pass certain legislation for the alteration of the Constitution over the head of the other, it is questioned whether it can be effective unless the Government favour the proposal made.

Senator Russell - Is not that an abuse of power?

Senator RAE - That is what I want to deal with. In order that those who follow this debate in Hansard may have it at first hand, I propose to quote the exact passage from theConstitution bearing upon the matter . Section 128 of the Constitution provides that -

This Constitution shallnot be alteredex- ceptin the following manner: -

The proposed law for the alteration thereof musthe passedbyan absolute majority of each House of the Parliament, and not less than two. nor more than six, months after its passage through both Houses the proposed law shall he submitted in each State to the electors qualified to vote for the election of membersof the House ofRepresentatives.

But if either House passes any such proposed law by an absolute majority, and the other House rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with any amendment to which the first-mentioned House will not agree, and if, after an interval of three months, thefirst- mentioned House in the same or the next session again passes the proposed law by an absolute majority, with or without any amendment which has been made or agreed to by the other House, and such other House rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it- with any amendment to which the first-mentioned House will not agree, the Governor-General may submit the proposed law as last proposed by the first-mentioned House, and either with or without any amendments subsequently agreed, to by both Houses, to the electors in each State qualified to vote for the election of theH ouse of Representatives.

When a proposed law is submitted to the electors, the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes.

That is as far as I need to read, because the rest of the section is not relevant to the position before us. I want to emphasize the point that, whereas the ordinary method, where a party has a majority in both Houses, is for both Houses to pass the proposed law for the alteration of the Constitution, and then, in due course, have it submitted to the people, when the two Houses are not in agreement, it is specially provided by the Constitution that either of them shall have the power to pass such a proposed law over the head of the other. But in order that that may not be done without due deliberation, it is provided that it must be done in two successive sessions, or, if in one session, with an interval of not less than three months between the first and second time of passing the proposed law. Honorable senators are aware of the condition that exists at present. Senator McGregor has stated that there has been an enormous growth in public sentiment in favour of these proposed amendments of the Constitution, and only for this section 128 of the Constitution, we should have no opportunity of testingwhether the people require these alterationsornot. There couldbe no better justification f or submitting these proposed amendments ofthe Constitutiontothe peoplethanthe experience we have gained duringthe lastfew yearsofthe increase inthe number ofthose who favour these proposed laws. On the last occasion there was a very much increased aggregate poll, and the vote in favour of the proposal was almost sufficient to entirely wipe out the majority against them on the first occasion. That growth of public opinion in favour of these proposed amendments of the Constitution affords ample justification for their submission to the people again at the first opportunity. On the last occasion the Government failed to secure the passage of this legislation. The Bills were passed through the Senate and transmitted to the other Chamber, where they were not dealt with. They are now being submitted here again in ample time to permit of full consideration being given to them in another place if the will of the Government should be equal to their opportunities. If they are not dealt with there, clearly those persons who stand in the way of their submission to the people are acting the part of reactionaries, or something worse - the part of absolutism and czar ism.

Senator Oakes - In view of the vote which was recorded against these proposals at the last election, does the honorable senator think that the Government would be justified in again submitting them to the people f

Senator RAE - They would not only be justified in submitting them to the electors, but it is the bounden duty of everybody possessed of a shred of Democracy to insist upon that course being followed.

Senator Oakes - In spite of the fact that the electors have turned them down on two occasions?

Senator RAE - The people have turned Senator Oakes down on more than two occasions, and yet he is here. They will, however, I feel sure, again turn him down at the first opportunity. Senator Millen was at one time an ardent Free Trader. He Was a member of the New South Wales Parliament, though not at the period when I was a member of it. There was not room enough there for two such great men at the same time. In the State Parliament he will recollect a party of Protectionists arose, and at election after election its members were turned down, until at length, after much fighting, they succeeded in gaining a majority. If Senator Millen, copying hi one-time leader, Sir George Reid, thinks that, because he has once been beaten he should throw overboard his principles, 1 can understand him taking up the attitude adopted by Senator Oakes, and declaring that, because these proposals have been turned down on two previous occa sions, they should not again be submitted to the people.

Senator Oakes - I do not say that the honorable senator's party should not again submit them to the electors. But apparently he expects Mr. Cook to do that.

Senator RAE - I do not expect Mr. Cook to do anything. But I do say that the Leader of the Government has no right to stand in the way of the submission of these proposals to the electors. Me should give free play to the expression of the people's will by constitutional methods. The latter part of the section of. the Constitution which I have quoted affirms that if either House of the Parliament passes a proposed law twice, it may be submitted by the GovernorGeneral to the vote of the electors. Now, if the Senate ever passes any proposed law for the amendment of the Constitution it must always be in opposition to the will or the Government for the time being in office. It is also clear that any Government in power must possess a majority in the other Chamber. Consequently it follows that if any proposed amendment of the Constitution were twice agreed to by another place, and if it were rejected by the Senate, it would always reach the Governor-General, because the Government of the day would be behind it. If the Governor-General is only to act on the advice of r his Ministers, if he is not to use his own judgment in this matter, I say that the section of the Constitution which I have quoted, so far as it relates to the Senate, is a farce.

Senator O'LOGHLIN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Colonel O'loghlin. - Surely we can expect the Leader of the Senate to stick up for our rights in this matter ?

Senator RAE - I do not know that. The exigencies of party frequently lead men to do things which otherwise they would not do. That is the curse of the party system.

Senator Millen - That is why the honorable senator is not a party man.

Senator RAE - I believe our system of party government leads men of the broadminded calibre of Senator Millen in ordinary matters to take up an extraordinary position on questions of this kind. We have a right to insist that if our Constitution was intended to be a workable one the section which I have quoted must mean that if the Senate twice passes a proposed law which the Government cannot see their way to accept, it is the bounden duty of the latter to see that the electors have an opportunity of pronouncing their judgment upon it. The Governor-General should be afforded every facility to carry out the duties which have been cast upon him.

Senator Millen - Is it the honorable senator's contention that the GovernorGeneral himself ought to send that proposed law to the people, or that the Government of the day ought to advise him to do so?

Senator RAE - My contention is that the Governor-General constitutionally must submit the proposals to the electors.

Senator Oakes - Off his own bat, or on the advice of the Government?

Senator RAE - My contention is that he must do it.

Senator Millen - The conditions of the section having been complied with, the honorable senator argues that the GovernorGeneral must act?

Senator RAE - That is my contention.

Senator Millen - Does the same argument apply to a double dissolution ?

Senator RAE - Not necessarily. There is not a perfect analogy between the two cases. If the Governor-General does submit these proposals to the electors, he does not necessarily alter a single line of the Constitution. He leaves it to the people to say whether they will or will not assent to the proposed alterations. But if he dissolves Parliament, and thereby hangs up the business of the country

Senator Millen - The honorable senator is disappointing me with his logic.

Senator RAE - I am sorry, because I live principally to convince Senator Millen. My contention is that the two cases are not analogous. In the one case the proposals would be submitted to the people, and everything would go on just the same until their verdict had been pronounced. Consequently, I contend, the Governor-General, if the conditions precedent are fulfilled, should submit these proposals to the people. Unless he does so it is a farce for the Constitution to say, *' If either House " should pass a proposed law. In such circumstances, it is clear that the section should apply to only one House. If the GovernorGeneral is not to submit proposals to the people without the assent of the Government, we shall never get any proposals affirmed by this Chamber and rejected by another place before the electors. If we are to read the Constitution in a commonsense way we must conclude that it is the bounden duty of the Governor-General to remit these proposals to the electors, and that it is the duty of the Government to put no hindrance in the way of that being done, and to provide all the necessary machinery to allow it to be done. Any Ministry who failed to do that would be acting a treasonable part to the people who have intrusted them with certain responsibilities. The people's sovereignty must be respected. I trust that these Bills, at 1,:r they have been carried here, will receive better treatment in another place than they received on a former occasion. If they are put before the electors at the next election. I feel sure that they will be carried by an even larger majority than that by which they were defeated two years ago.

Suggest corrections