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Wednesday, 9 December 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (West ern Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [3.4]. - I move -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Government.

Shortly before the Parliament rose the possibilities of a serious constitutional problem relating to the suggested marriage of His Majesty the King became apparent. The position is still uncertain, though we all profoundly hope that a crisis may be averted. In the circumstances, it seemed wise to the Government to recall honorable senators, as it would desire to be in a position to consult Parliament without delay in relation to any course of action which proved to be necessary.

As the matter stands, and pending His Gracious Majesty's decision, parliamentary discussions could do nothing but harm.

All I need say as to the particular issues involved is that the Commonwealth Government concurs in the decision of the Government of the United Kingdom not to legislate for something in the nature of a morganatic marriage.

In a state of affairs so delicate, so fraught with possibilities of good or ill for the future of all of us, a respectful and sympathetic silence in Parliament is the best contribution we can offer to a happy solution. May God strengthen His Majesty and guide his decision aright.

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