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Wednesday, 18 November 1914

The PRESIDENT - Order ! the honorable senator must not argue the matter.

Senator WATSON - I wish to give the reason for asking the question. The experience in our district makes it almost necessary to explain the reason for the question, but, if that is not permissible, I bow to your ruling.

The PRESIDENT - I do not lay it down as a ruling that an honorable senator cannot state the explanatory matter necessary to elucidate a question to enable the Minister to answer it, but the honorable senator was proceeding to argue why this or that should or should not be done. The object of a question is merely to elicit information, and it is not permissible to argue the matter.

Senator WATSON - I wish to explain that, in consequence of certain information I have received to the effect that lads engaged in learning their trades at technical schools--

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Is the honorable senator in order in proceeding in this way?

The PRESIDENT - Following all recognised authorities on parliamentary procedure, I have laid it down as the invariable practice that questions must boasked only to elicit information. It is not permissible when putting a questionto make statements or argue or debate the matter in any way.

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