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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2491

Message received from the House of Representatives intimating that it had disagreed to the amendments made by the Senate to this Bill.

Motion (by Senator Murphy) agreed to:

That the message be considered in the Committee of the whole forthwith.

In Committee

Consideration of the House of Representatives message.

Clause 2.

Section 128 of the Constitution is altered-

(a)   by omitting the words 'in each State' (twice occurring);

(   b ) by omitting the words ' But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth, only one-half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails.'; and

(c)   by omitting the words 'in a majority of the States' and substituting the words 'in not less than one-half of the States'.

Title.

To facilitate alterations to the Constitution and to allow Electors in Territories, as well as Electors in the States, to vote at Referendums on Proposed Laws to alter the Constitution.

Senate 's amendment No. 1 -

In Clause 2, leave out paragraph (c).

Senate's amendment No. 2-

In Title, leave out 'To facilitate alterations to the Constitution and'.

House of Representatives' message-

Amendments disagreed to.

Reasons of the House of Representatives for disagreeing to the amendments of the Senate.

The Senate's amendments are not acceptable because they would remove the important provisions of the Bill that would enable the Constitution to be altered by a national majority and a majority in not less than one half of the States. These provisions are necessary because the existing requirement of Section 128 of the Constitution that the proposal to alter the Constitution must be approved by a majority of States as well as a majority of electors voting has proved a stumbling-block to desirable reforms, as evidenced by the history of proposals to alter the Constitution.







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