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Friday, 6 March 1942

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon J Cunningham (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Standing Order No. 423 provides that when any honorable senator objects to words used in debate and desires them to be taken down, the President shall direct them to be taken down by the Clerk accordingly. During the course of a debate in the Senate yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McLeay) requested that certain words used by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator Keane) be taken down. I accordingly directed the Clerk to take down the words and to read them aloud. Upon this having been done, it appeared that the words were not offensive or disorderly, and that Standing Order No. 423 had been misapplied. The purpose of this standing order is to protect honorable senators from objectionable, offensive and disorderly expressions, and it should be applied for that purpose only. The reading of such words must be followed by an explanation, withdrawal or apology by the honorable senator deemed to have offended against the standing order.

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