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Thursday, 11 June 1914

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - It seems to me that we have not a proper safeguard, either at present or as is proposed, against an interruption. I believe that at any moment the proceedings may be interrupted by the President to read a message from the other House, and then the Leader of the Government generally moves that the Bill be read a first time. It would be wise, I think, if an opportunity were afforded to one honorable senator to object to that course if it was desirable that there should be time given. When a Bill is received by message from another place, it is the general custom for the Minister in charge of the Department affected by it to move the first reading immediately. This is generally regarded as a formal motion, but the fact that any honorable senator can call for a division on it shows that some honorable senators may consider it of value to them to have their names recorded as for or against the first reading. I would therefore suggest that as a Bill may come up unexpectedly by message and be read a first time, while some honorable senators are absent, provision should be made in the standing order to make the consideration of the message or the motion for the first reading an Order of the Day for some future time.

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