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Tuesday, 26 July 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) .- The Board is to consist of three members, and if the chairman is given a casting vote as well as a deliberative vote he will be placed in a dominating position.: When there is a. full meeting of the Board the view of -two- out of the three members will prevail, and there' will be no need for a casting vote, but this- clause provides that two members shall constitute a quorum, and in the event of disagreement the chairman may exercise a casting vote. If that provision is adhered to the second member df the Eoard might as well not attend the meeting, because it is certain that the view of the chairman will be carried. I therefore move -

That the words " and in the event of an equality of voting a second or casting- vote" be left out:

If that amendment is agreed to, the effect will be that when at a meeting attended by only two members of the Board there is a difference of opinion the question will be decided in the negative, and can be revived at a full meeting of the Board.

Senator Duncan -That will give the domination to the person who is voting in the -negative.

Senator EARLE - The position will be much the same as that in the Full Court ; when two members disagree, the third, at a full meeting of the Board, will hold the balance. If the Board were larger, and the quorum consisted of four or six members, the chairman might very well be given a casting vote, but, according to this, the chairman himself will constitute half the quorum, and as he may exercise two votes he will absolutely dominate the meeting.

Senator Crawford - In that event, the business member of the Board would carry no weight at all.

Senator EARLE - He might be strenuously opposed to the chairman, but as the chairman has two votes his will must prevail, whilst if the second member should be in agreement with the chairman, his presence would not be necessary. The amendment will mean that the chairman shall have a deliberative vote, and that when the voting is equal, which can only be at a meeting of two members, the question should be resolved in the negative.

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