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Friday, 4 June 1926

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN -(SenatorKingsmill). - The decision of the matter rests with the Chair. Under standing order 130, the President may order a complicated question to be divided. Under the provisions of another standing order the powers of the President in the Senate devolve upon the Chairman of Committees, and consequently upon a Temporary Chairman of Committees when the Senate is in committee. This is undoubtedly a complicated question, and I see -no reason for declining to agree to Senator Payne's . request. I shall, therefore, divide the question.

Senator Findley - Before you do that, sir-

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - - Order! The honorable senator may not debate my ruling. If he wishes to disagree with it, he must do so in writing, and at once.

Senator Findley - I have no desire to fall foul of you, sir, or of any other occupant of the chair; but I hope that you will permit me to show the unfortunate position in which I . shall be placed if Senator Payne's request is granted.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN As the mover of the request, if you wish to make a personal explanation, I shall allow you to do so; but my ruling is not open to debate.

Senator Findley -i submitted this as one request, not as two, because one is dependent upon the other. If the first portion were agreed to, the duty on boys' caps would be 8s. instead of 12s. The only condition upon which I favour that is that a higher duty be imposed on men's caps, as provided for in the second part of my request.

Senator Payne - This is a trapwhich has been set by the honorable senator.

Senator Findley - I am satisfied that honorable senators opposite want to trap me..

Senator Crawford - The two matters cannot, be taken separately ; one is dependent upon the other. It is a deliberate trap to suggest that they should be put separately.

Senator Findley - Let the request be decided as a whole, on its merits, and not be divided into two parts.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - The honorable senator, therefore, wishes to disagree with my ruling?

Senator Findley - You know, sir, that that is a very awkward step to take. I put it to you that our Standing Orders are not as the laws of the Medes and Persians. I ask you, would it not be better to take the request as a whole? If the committee negatives the whole of my request, I shall have some satisfaction, but if it favours a reduced duty for boys' caps and declines to approve of an increased duty for men's caps, I and other protectionists will be placed in a very invidious position.

Senator Thompson - That is the result of the honorable senator's bargaining.

Senator Findley - It is not a question of bargaining.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Hay I. suggest that the honorable senator alter the order in which his request is proposed? If he obtains the leave of the committee - which I feel sure will be given to him - he can so amend his request that the second part will be taken first.

Senator Payne - I object to that.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Under the Standing Orders, the President, the Chairman of Committees, and the Temporary Chairmen of Committees have power to divide a question which, in their opinion, is complicated. In my opinion this is a complicated question. If any honorable senator holds a contrary opinion, it is open to him to disagree with my ruling; but that must be done at once, in writing; and without debate.

Senator Findley - You, sir, have ruled that the request should be divided'. I ask the. committee to agree to your suggestion that I be. allowed to so amend my request that the second part may be taken first. Surely honorable senators do not want to take an unfair advantage of me!

Senator Payne - The honorable senator has been endeavouring to take an unfair advantage of the committee'.

Senator Findley - We can have a vote on the question . if the committee will agree to my request being amended on the lines suggested by the Temporary Chairman of Committees.

Senator Plain - The honorable senator's best plan is to withdraw the request.

Senator Findley - I shall withdraw it if the committee will not agree to my amending it in the direction that I desire.

Senator Payne - That is not a fair suggestion to make.

Senator Drake-Brockman - Put the request on the lines suggested by the Temporary Chairman, and let us see where we stand.

Senator Findley - Apparently I am not able to do that without the consent of the committee.

Senator Drake-Brockman - If the honorable senator asks for that consent and it is refused, he will not be in any worse position than he is in now.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - I point out to the honorable senator that when the leave of the Senate or of the committee is sought, one dissentient voice has the effect of refusing that leave.

Senator McLachlan - Is it not competent for you, sir, to rule that Senator Findley may have the second portion of his request put first ?


Senator Findley - I ask the leave of the committee to so amend my request that the second portion may be taken before the first.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Is it the pleasure of the committee that Senator Findley have leave to amend his request ?

Several Honorable Senators. - No.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Leave is refused.

Senator Findley - As there is apparently no sense of fairness in the minds of some honorable senators, I ask leave to withdraw my request.

Leave granted; request withdrawn.

Senator Findley - In future I shall know how to deal with those honorable senators who have shown that they have no sense of justice.


Senator Findley - I am angry beyond measure. They have no sense of justice or fair play.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! The honorable senator must not make such statements.

Senator Findley - I have made them, and I will stick to them.

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