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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW (Queensland) (Minister for Defence) [8.25]. - Honorable senators will agree that the proceedings in the Senate on the 9th May were extraordinary.

Senator Givens - That is so.

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - On such an historic occasion the ordinary procedure of the Senate could not be strictly adhered to. After the opening ceremony, the proceedings were suspended, and on resuming, the VicePresident of the Executive Council (Senator Pearce) rose, as was his right, and asked leave to move a motion. The routine of business is laid down by Standing Order 66, which reads -

Tho Senate shall, unless otherwise ordered, proceed each day with its ordinary business in the following' routine: - (1) Presentation of petitions; (2) Giving notices, and questions without notice; (3) Questions on notice; (4) Formal motions; (5) Postponement of business; (0) Motions and orders of the day, or vice versa, as set down on the notice-paper.

The Standing Order specifically lays down the routine of business to be followed, "unless otherwise ordered." On the occasion referred to, when the VicePresident of the Executive Council asked leave to move a motion, there was no dissentient voice.

Senator Kingsmill - If there had been he could not have moved the motion.

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW.As the honorable senator has said, if there had been an objection, the VicePresident of the Executive Council could not have submitted his motion. The permission of the Senate having been obtained, as provided for in the standing order I have just quoted, the procedure was altered. The first business was a message from the Governor-General. It will be admitted that under the Standing Orders, such a message may be reported at any time, so long as a debate is not interrupted. Then, in accordance with Standing Order 67, certain papers were presented. The presentation of papers also may be done at any time when other business is not before the Senate. Then came a motion by the Leader of the Senate, under Standing Order 65, which provides that any motion connected with the conduct of the business of the Senate may be moved by a Minister at any time without notice. After that came the motion for the adjournment, as provided for in Standing Order 63. This may be moved by a Minister at any time. Although the procedure of the 9th May may have been unusual, the departure from the routine of business was not made without the leave of the Senate, as provided/ for in Standing Order 66. This matter was discussed at some length on the motion for the adjournment on the 9th May, and I do not think that anything has arisen since then to alter the position. I hope that the Senate will not agree to the motion.

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