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Thursday, 13 October 1927

Senator HOARE (South Australia) .- - Senator Ogden ought to recognize that it was the party machine which first introduced him to public life, and found for him a place in this chamber. That machine has grown, and today no candidate could be elected if he did not have it behind him. Greater men than Senator Ogden have endeavoured to win elections without its aid. I instance Sir Josiah Symon, of South Australia, who, I suppose, was one of the greatest men in politics that Australia has known. He fell between the two parties, with the result that, instead of repeating the experience of the previous election, when, as a member of a party, lie was returned at the head of the poll, he found himself at the bottom. I am not able to grasp what Senator Ogden hopes to accomplish. How would honorable senators reach a common understanding if they were prevented from attending meetings of their parties ? I do not think that the amendment will help the honorable senator along the road that he wishes to travel. He has argued that it would be a democratic move to have honorable senators elected by the parliaments of the States. I should regard that as a conservative plan.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Senator Duncan). - The honorable senator will not be in order in discussing forms of election.

Senator HOARE - If the great Labour movement of Australia possesses the reasoning faculty that I believe it has, it will hang on to the Senate as long as it has life in its body.

Senator Ogden - The honorable senator is pledged to abolish the Senate.

Senator HOARE - I am now stating my individual opinion, not. that of the Labour movement. There is always a possibility that that movement will change its view. The Senate is elected upon the broadest franchise that exists in the world. Nothing could be fairer. The electors may return whom they please. I am opposed to the amendment, and do not think the committee ought to agree to it.

SenatorFOLL (Queensland) [4.15]. - Senator Ogden made a statement to which I take strong exception. He said that, by reason of the system which operates in this chamber, honorable senators times without number have recorded a vote in opposition to the dictates of their consciences. The honorable senator appears to consider that he has a monopoly of conscience, and is the only member of this chamber who votes according to it. If other honorable senators do not see eye to eye with him he charges them with voting against their conscience. I throw that charge back in his teeth. He would not have been returned to the Senate if he had not had the assistance of the party machine. I have been in this chamber for a longer period than he has, and my experience has been that honorable senators vote according to their consciences. . I can recall the time when there was only one member of the Labour party in this Senate, and 35 alleged supporters of the Government. On at least two occasions Government bills were thrown out on the motion for their second reading. That is proof that the Senate has not lost its usefulness as a chamber of review. Senator Ogden's conscience is probably worrying him. Perhaps that is the reason he is having so much to say on this subject.

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