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Tuesday, 16 August 1921

The PRESIDENT - Before calling on the Minister to reply, I draw the attention of honorable senators to the Standing Orders, which forbid the quoting of a newspaper in connexion with the asking of a question, and I remind them that to ask the Minister if he has seen a certain statement in a newspaper is tantamount to quoting that' statement from that newspaper. Furthermore, the Standing Orders are explicit and emphatic in declaring that no honorable senator may make a statement while asking a question. If a senator has not the right to make a statement, surely no person outside the Senate can do so ; but the quotation of a newspaper statement, in effect, allows an outsider that privilege. It is in order to ask the Minister for information, but a newspaper statement must not be quoted.

Senator Payne - I did not quote from a newspaper.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator drew attention to a statement which had appeared in the newspapers, and that was tantamount to quoting that statement.

Senator PAYNE - Then I ask the Minister if he has been made aware of the facts I have mentioned?

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