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Friday, 9 July 1915

The CHAIRMAN - I cannot accept such an amendment. Tinder section 53 of the Constitution the Senate may not amend any proposed law in such a way as to increase the charge or burden on the people.

Senator LYNCH - I understand that in regard to Bills or portions of Bills which we may not amend directly we have at least the power of request.

Senator O'Keefe - Is this not a Bill, portion of which we may amend, and in regard to other portions of which we may make requests? There are Bills which the Senate can amend, and there are others in regard to which the Senate has only the power of request, hut there is a third class of Bill in which we have the power of both amendment and request.

The CHAIRMAN - Section 53 of the Constitution reads -

The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications. Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

Senator LYNCH - That section seems to make clear our right to request amendments to Bills which the Senate may not amend. Iintend, therefore, to proceed with my amendment by way of request. The amendment I desire to submit is--

Senator Turley - As this Bill was preceded by a message in another place, the honorable senator's object can only be attained by means of a request.

The CHAIRMAN - That is the position. This Bill was preceded by a message, and that message set out the amount of money required to cover the purposes of the Bill.

Senator Ferricks - That is hardly my point. My point is that this Bill is one which the Senate has power to amend.

Senator Millen - It is a Bill which the Senate has no power to amend. I do not think that there can be the slightest doubt about the accuracy of the intimation just given by Mr.. Chairman. The point has been raised that, because an amendment' was accepted before that suggested by Senator Lynch, this is a Bill which the Senate can amend. That argument does not prove anything, because it may be that Mr. Chairman was not right in accepting the previous amendment. Furtherth an that, I would point out that, we have on record instances where, in dealing with Bills, we have made both amendments and requests.

Senator Ferricks - That is the point I am raising.

Senator Millen - In this case, however, we have nothing to do with anything that happened months ago. I do not think any one who has. looked at the Constitution can dispute the ruling just given, that the only method by which the Senate can secure a change in the Bill is by asking the other House to effect that change.

Senator Turley - In the monetary portion of it. .

Senator Millen - At the same time, I do not think any real difficulty is created. The difficulty is only as to the form of words, and I think Senator Lynch has sufficient words at his disposal to carry him through his predicament.

Senator LYNCH - Then I move-

That the House of Representatives be requested to leave out the words "Thirteen thousand six hundred and fifty," and to insert in lieu thereof the words " Fourteen thousand."

I take my stand on a distinctly constitutional ground, and I ask those honorable senators who profess a respect for that sacred document to support me in that stand. Particularly do I request the support of honorable senators who sit on the left of the Chamber, because of the manner in which they have dwelt upon the sacrosanct nature of the Federal Constitution.

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