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Tuesday, 5 May 1936

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Sampson - Whether or not the Minister had risen to the point of order, I would not have been able to accept the honorable senator's motion. In 1908 a similar point arose in connexion with the Excise Tariff Bill. Senator Clemons moved -

That the House of Representatives be requested to insert the following new item to follow the item "Snuff", viz.: - "Confectionery, containing Glucose, Paraffin Wax or Plaster of Paris . . . per lb., 2d.".

The Chairman ruled that that proposed request was not in order and, Senator Clemons dissenting in writing from the Chairman's decision, the Chairman left the chair. The Senate resumed and the matter having been laid before the President, and senators having addressed themselves thereto, the President ruled that the Senate could not ignore the provisions of the Constitution which limited the powers of this House to request amendments to, or the omission of, items already in the bill. The proposal to which exception had been taken was not an amendment of any item in the bill, but was a request for the insertion of a new item. The President, therefore, upheld the ruling of the Chairman.

I refer Senator Johnston to these words in section 53 of the Constitution, specifying the powers of the Houses in respect of legislation -

The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein.

That, I take it, is the crux of the matter. The request made by Senator Johnston is in relation to an item not in the bill before the committee. On those grounds I cannot accept his motion.

Items 146, 151, 152 and 154 agreed to.

Item 157 (Barbed wire).

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