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Thursday, 13 October 1927


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable senator to confine his . remarks to the amendment before the Chair.


Senator OGDEN - Under existing conditions the Senate has lost its value to the community. It is becoming a weak, impotent body.


Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It will never be that so long as the honorable senator remains a member of it.


Senator OGDEN - I am a member of no political party. The Senate of the

United Stated of America is the strongest body in the world. It is elected by the legislatures of the several States. The French Senate is also a strong body. This Senate should be paramount in the community and not merely a body to carry out the wishes of a government or a party. Instead of acting independently, however it is guided by party considerations. Should I again be returned to this Senate I shall not attend any caucus meeting. Honorable senators should be above sectional interests.


Senator Reid - Since the honorable senator entered this chamber has he attended any caucus. meetings?


Senator OGDEN - I have attended about three caucus meetings. I told the electors that I did not consider that I should attend them. No vote in this chamber can effect the fate of any government. For that reason no senator should attend a party meeting to vote on a resolution which may upset the government in power.


Senator Foll - What would this amendment accomplish, if agreed to?


Senator OGDEN - It would ensure that no person who belongs to a political organization would be elected to the Senate. Honorable senators may think I have moved this amendment because I am a disgruntled individual. My object in bringing it forward is, however, to pre.serve the dignity of the Senate, to magnify its strength, and to make it what it was intended to be - a strong, virile body above the strife of party warfare. While I have the opportunity I shall do what I can to get the Senate back to first principles, to make honorable senators free individuals, and the Senate an institution which will be respected by all sections of the comunity. If the Senate continues to act as it has acted during recent years it will destroy itself.







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