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Wednesday, 9 November 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - Various proposals bearing upon this and associated clauses have been referred to me. It will be necessary to coordinate and place them before the Committee in detail, so that honorable senators may be made acquainted with the whole of them. Certain suggested amendments have come from the sub-Committee of Cabinet controlling the drafting of the Bill. Joint suggestions have been forwarded also by the President and Speaker.

Senator de Largie - What is the nature of those suggestions?

Senator RUSSELL - I can indicate their purport, but it would be preferable to postpone further consideration and place the whole position fully before the Committee.

Senator de Largie - Is there a suggestion from the President and Speaker concerning an Appeal Board?

Senator RUSSELL - I can only repeat that every suggestion will be fully set out and printed for the information and guidance of honorable senators. TheSenate has a right to control itself. Until I looked at the Standing Orders to-day, I was not aware how I had in the past been made a member of certain Committees of the Senate. There are the House Committee, the Library Committee, the Printing Committee, the Returns and Qualifications Committee, and the Standing Orders Committee. Nobody asked me to join any of those Committees. Somebody made the suggestion, and I was nominated. The nominations are submitted to the Senate, and any senator has a right to call for a ballot. What the Committee is discussing now is how to define the functions of these parliamentary Committees. It comes to me as a new question, and I would like to have an opportunity of looking into it. I suggest that all the provisions dealing with the Senate and with the officers of Parliament be postponed, or that they be recommitted later and a proper schedule of amendments printed so as to bring themclearly under the notice of all honorable senators.

Senator Foster - But the Minister will not need to recommit the clauses that are postponed.

Senator RUSSELL - Amendments are suggested in clauses that have been passed already. If the Committee will let the provisions to which I refer go formally, I undertake to recommit them, and to bring them forward again in a form that will enable them to be dealt with as one subject.

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