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Tuesday, 26 July 1921

The PRESIDENT - It is within my discretion as to- whether or not I allow any discussion on the point of order,- and

I see no need for discussion if the Acting Chairman's statement of the question was correct.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I submit that the Acting Chairman's statement was not correct, and the whole trouble has arisen through misapprehension on his part. Hansard, at page 10393,. shows that Senator Earle's complete amendment on Thursday was -

That the words "which, together with his salary, shall not exceed Fourteen hundred pounds a year" be left out, with a view to inserting in lieu thereof the following words: - "of Two hundred pounds a year." .

It will be obvious that the amendment was to leave out certain words with a view to inserting other words, and it was that double proposal which the Committee rejected. c

The PRESIDENT - That does not alter the position. The Committee decided that the words should remain, and they must remain.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But here is the official report in Hansard. .

The PRESIDENT - That does not affect the point. If the honorable senator had desired the insertion of any words other than those proposed by Senator Earle it was open to him to move an amendment upon Senator Earle's amendment. He omitted to do so, and upon the question being put to the Committee " That the words proposed to be left out be left out," the Committee decided that they should remain; therefore, those words must stand part of the clause unless the Senate agrees on motion at the report stage to recommit the clause. The Acting Chairman's ruling is in conformity with the invariable practice of the Senate. The procedure would be interminable if, it having been decided that certain words in the clause of a Bill should remain, honorable senators could thereafter get up, one after another, and move fresh amendments to those words. The position is clear. If the honorable senator desires to move as he has indicated, the course open to him will be, at the report stage, to move that the clause be recommitted.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - This is the most, extraordinary thing I have ever heard of.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is merely following consistently upon twenty years' practice.

The PRESIDENT - I am setting forth the invariable practice of the Senate and the common-sense reading of the Standing Orders. Standing order 145 states -

No amendment shall be proposed to be made to any words which the Senate has resolved shall not be left out. . . .

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But the purpose of Senator Earle's amendment was to insert something.

The PRESIDENT - That has nothing to do with the question. The Committee came to a decision, and the question was put, " That the words proposed to be left out be so left out."

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Committee would not insert what was proposed to be inserted.

The PRESIDENT - The position is perfectly clear, and it is of no use for the honorable senator to indulge in further argument. I uphold the ruling of the Acting Chairman.

In Committee:

Amendment (by Senator Bolton) again proposed -

That the words " an allowance of Five guineas per sitting " be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " a salary of Twelve hundred and fifty pounds a year."

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