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1897 Australasian Federation Conference



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TUESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER, 1897.

Finance Committee-Commonwealth of Australia Bill.

The PRESIDENT took the chair at 10.30 a.m.

FINANCE COMMITTEE.

The Hon. E. BARTON laid upon the table evidence of E.M.G. Eddy, Esquire, late Railway Commissioner of New South Wales; J. Matheson, Esquire, Commissioner of Railways in Victoria; and A.G. Pendleton, Esquire, Commissioner for Railways in South Australia, before the Finance Committee at its sittings in Adelaide.

Ordered: That the documents be printed.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA BILL.

In Committee (consideration resumed from 20th September, vi de page 932):

C

lause 56 (Recommendation of money votes).

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales:

Insert new clause to follow clause 56, (vide page 807), upon which the following amendment by Mr. Symon had been agreed to:-

That after the word "If," in the proposed new clause, the following new words be inserted: "the senate reject or fail to pass any proposed law which has passed the house of representatives, or pass the same with amendments with which the house of representatives will not agree, and if the governor-general should dissolve the house of representatives, and if, within six months after the said dissolution the house of representatives by an absolute majority again pass the said proposed law in the same, or substantially the same, form as before, and with substantially the same objects, and the senate again reject or fail to pass the said proposed law, or pass the same with amendments with which the house of representatives will not agree, the governor-general may dissolve the senate.

Upon which Mr. Lyne had moved a further amendment, namely:-

To add to the words inserted "If after a dissolution of both houses of the federal parliament as above provided the subject-matter of the contention that led to such dual dissolution is again passed by the house of representatives and again rejected by the senate such measure shall be referred to the electors of the commonwealth by means of a national referendum, and if resolved in the affirmative shall become law."

Upon which amendment the following amendment (by the Right Hon. Sir George Turner and Mr. Wise) had been agreed to:

To leave out the initial word "If," with a view to insert the following:- "Provided, that in lieu of dissolving the house of represen- [start page 933] t atives alone in the first instance, both houses of

parliament may be dissolved simultaneously; Provided that the senate shall not be dissolved within a period of six months immediately preceding the date of the expiry by effluxion of time of the duration of the house of representatives. And if after such dissolution, the proposed law fails to pass, with or without amendment, the proposed law may be referred to the direct determination of the people as hereinafter provided."

And upon which the Hon. J.H. Carruthers had moved the following amendment:-

To leave out "the direct determination of the people as hereinafter provided," with a view to add "the members of the two houses deliberating and voting together thereon, and shall be adopted or rejected according to the decision of three-fifths of the members present and voting on the question."

Upon which the Hon. J.H. Howe had moved:

That the word "three-fifths" be omitted with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word "two-thirds."

The HON. J.H. GORDON (South Australia)[10.34]: As I intimated in a few words yesterday, I intend to support the proposition of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, but I desire to make my position very clear. When the hon. and learned member, Mr. O'Connor, was speaking to this suggestion yesterday, I interjected that unless the quota as provided by the bill as it now stands were maintained, the proposal meant nothing more than a sham. The hon. member seemed to think those words rather strong. But I used them in no sense offensively. I still say that, unless the bill as it now stands, is to be taken as the substance upon which this proposition is based, the whole proposal is simply a sham. Although that interjection was occasioned by what I thought some weakening on the part of my hon. friend in his advocacy of the proposal on that basis, and his speech did denote a little weakening on that ground, I do hope-in fact, I am sure-that the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, if he intended to weaken the basis of the bill, would have said so in his motion. We are following him loyally upon the clear faith that the proposition is based on the bill as it now stands; otherwise, the thing has no foundation, and in supporting the hon. member we shall simply be led into a trap. But I rely upon the honor and faith of the right hon. the Premier of this colony, and of one of his principal ministers, Mr. Carruthers, who makes this proposition, and who did not indicate, having regard to the way in which it is framed, any alteration of the basis upon which it is founded, and which we have a right to assume is to be maintained. Relying upon their honor in this matter, I have departed from the ranks of the hon. member, Mr. Isaacs, with regard to the dual referendum, which I much prefer. But seeing, as I conceived, in this proposal the more practical measure, I have left his ranks in order to join those of the right hon. the Premier of New South Wales, and those who support the proposal before the Committee. I have done so relying upon their honor in the matter, and if they do not support the basis of the bill as it now stands, and upon which this proposition is founded, I shall consider that I have been entrapped. Up to the present, however, I have no suspicions in the matter. The only indication I have had has been, as I have said, a little weakening by the hon. and learned member, Mr. O'Connor, in putting the case yesterday.

An HON. MEMBER: I think the hon. member will find that he has been entrapped!

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he HON. J.H. GORDON: I should be sorry to make that discovery, and other hon. members for t he same reasons would be sorry to find it so. I shall consider it nothing more nor less than a breach of faith to those who have followed the suggestion. However, no indication has been made by the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, nor has any been made by [start page 934] t he right hon. the Premier of New South Wales in this direction. The only indication we have had of any weakening at all oft the part of any hon. member, who supports this proposition came from the hon. and learned member, Mr. O'Connor, last night. I am sure, however, that, on further reflection, the hon. member will see that any alteration of the quota would absolutely cut the ground from under this proposition, and the whole thing would be, as I said yesterday, and as I now repeat, with as much emphasis as I am capable of, nothing more nor less than a sham.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER (Victoria)[10.38]: As I have already indicated we will make the strongest effort we can to alter the clause. When the clause was passed, I indicated that we regarded it as so seriously affecting the interests of the general movement, at all events in our colony-and I assume it is certainly so regarded in the colony of New South Wales-that I should feel bound to ask the leader of the Convention to recommit the clause hereafter, so that we might have an opportunity of reversing the vote already taken. Hon. members who now propose to adopt this principle must not turn round afterwards and say that they had not had a fair intimation of our intention. It is my intention to do all I can until this bill is finally settled to alter the clause fixing the quota, which, to my mind, improperly limits the representation of the colony of Victoria. I intend, also, to vote against the proposal on other grounds. We have now determined, by a fair majority, that we shall have a double dissolution. As I have pointed out on several occasions, I am willing that another step should be taken after that, but that other step will be required only under the most exceptional circumstances. In nearly all cases the double dissolution will probably settle the matter. But I desire to have some other remedy available in case of failure. Now, to my mind the remedy here proposed is the worst one which has been suggested. The sitting of the two houses together is a course of procedure of which I cannot approve. I have thought the matter over carefully since we separated last night, and I have come to the conclusion that under no circumstances could I support it. We will do our best to limit that which we regard as an evil about to be ingrafted upon the constitution, and having limited it as much as we could, as far as I am concerned I shall vote against this proposal. Of course if we are to go a step further and follow the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, to the end if we are to follow him out to the mass referendum, and if this proposal does not give effect to the proposed law of the federal parliament, then that may be a different matter, but those who are supporting the hon. gentleman's proposal now for a joint meeting of the two houses to decide any question in conflict between them, will, I feel perfectly certain, not support him in the further step which he desires to take of having, in case it fails, the whole matter decided by the people in a national referendum. Of course if hon. members are prepared to go that length, it may to a great extent modify the objections that I have to this proposal; but, I cannot conceive that they are prepared to go that length. I am not going to stop making every effort I possibly can to alter the quota; and I hold myself perfectly free hereafter to tell the people of Victoria that, with that fixed representation, I cannot advise them to accept the bill, and, as I believe that this remedy is worse than the disease, I intend to do everything I can to prevent its being carried.

Mr. WALKER (New South Wales)[10.42]: The right hon. gentleman who has just spoken had my support in regard [start page 935] t o his alternative motion yesterday to have a joint dissolution. I told him my views on the matter last Friday, and I religiously adhered to what I then said; but, the Norwegian system not having been alluded to, I feel myself at perfect liberty to vote as I think best on this matter. It seems to me that the Norwegian system, or an adaptation of it, is the most admirable system to settle those matters provided that the proportion is sufficient to safeguard the interests of the states.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Will the hon. gentleman explain the Norwegian system?

Mr. WALKER: It is proposed that in our federation there shall be 36 members in the senate, and 76 members in the house of representatives, making altogether 112. The right hon. member, Mr. Reid, I believe, gave his adhesion to a three-fifths majority. Now three-fifths of 112 is 68. The hon. member, Mr. Howe, has suggested two-thirds; that means 75. I intend to move an amendment, that instead of three-fifths the proportion shall be three-fourths, which will be 84. I will draw hon. members' attention to the advantage of having three-fourths. As a representative of the colony of New South

Wales, I think it my duty when the time comes to conserve the interests of that colony. I am not a provincialist, and I think that my votes have shown that I am not. I look upon federation as above provincialism; but I recognise the fact that there is a great question in which New South Wales is particularly interested. I take her case and apply it to all the other colonies. You will observe that 68 or 75 is less than the total number of the house of representatives, so if a conflict arose between the tw

o houses it would be quite possible for the house of representatives to completely crush the senate. I wish that that should not take place, and therefore, I propose there shall be a three-fourths instead of a three-fifths majority. The result would be that a measure would have to be carried by 84 members of

the joint house. I argue in this way: The colony of New South Wales would been titled to 26 members in the lower house, and 6 in the upper house, making altogether 32. Subtracting 32 from 112, leaves 80, and, therefore her interests in the waters of her rivers could not be sacrificed by any possible combination against her. However, irrespective of that, it seems to me that the division such as it is ought never to be so low that one house voting solidly could wipe out the other house altogether. I think that the hon. member, Mr. Holder, said yesterday that this assembly was divided into two parties, or more, on political grounds. I think that the hon. gentleman was quite right. I admit that in Australian politics I am what is called a liberal conservative, while the hon. member, Mr. Holder, might be called a conservative radical. He is conservative in regard to state and radical in regard to national matters. I believe that I am acting consistently with my political faith in proposing that the majority of the two houses shall be a three-fourths one. Therefore, I intend to propose:

That the amendment be amended by omitting "three-fifths" with a view to insert in lieu thereof "three-fourths."

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[10.47]: I should like to state very briefly for the information of the Committee what I understand the Norwegian system to be.

Mr. WALKER: This is only an adaptation of it!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: The hon. gentleman did not accept my invitation to explain the Norwegian system to the Committee, therefore the duty devolves upon me to do so. There is no country in the world which has the system now proposed. The Norwegian system is this: There are 114 members of parliament elected all at the same election, all on the same [start page 936] f ranchise, all in the same way, and all on proportional representation. They meet as one body, and they divide themselves into two parts, one consisting of three-fourths of the whole number as nearly as possible, the other consisting of the remaining one-fourth. The three-fourths constitute one chamber, the other one-fourth constitutes the other chamber, a chamber of revision. The first chamber, speaking generally, originates bills, and sends them to the other chamber. If the two chambers agree, the bill passes; if they do not agree the two meet as one body and a two-thirds majority carries it. What analogy has that to our constitution? I should like hon. members to ask themselves in all seriousness what basis is that for this proposition? I will show hon. gentlemen how utterly inapplicable it is to our constitution. We have a senate based on equal representation with equal representation given as a protection to the smaller colonies, to protect state rights, but up to the present we have religiously maintained proportional representation-proportional representation only in the people's house, the national house. This proposal breaks into that principle. Not only have we been asked to concede equal representation, not only have we been asked to pass a clause fixing the ratio between the two houses, linking the house of equal representation to the house of proportional representation; but we are now asked to carry the principle of equal representation into the very deliberations of the house of representatives. We are asked to allow the two houses to constitute themselves one chamber and to bring all the advantages of equal representation into the joint deliberations of the two bodies. Do hon. members really think that the larger colonies will stand that? I think that hon. members are expecting a great deal too much in thinking that.

An HON. MEMBER: It was proposed by a large colony!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I am sorry to say that the hon. member is right. I am sorry to say that it w as a large colony that proposed it; but it was another large colony that opposed it, and will oppose it to the end. I do not presume to speak with any degree of authority, far be it from me, but I doubt very much whether the large colony from which it came will support that in the end. However, I would like to emphasise the fact that if it was difficult enough under other circumstances to maintain that provision as to a quota, it is absolutely impossible to do so as matters now stand. I say to hon. members, as I said last night, that there is no hope of carrying these two things conjointly, because it brings into such startling relief the position in which we stand in our colony on the question of equal representation.

Mr. HIGGINS: If you can carry equal representation you can carry this too!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: My hon. friend knows that that is not correct. We have carried as large a load as we have been able to bear.

Mr. HIGGINS: Too large a load!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I believe with this addition we shall break down. I have the greatest apprehension of the whole principle of equal representation; and I believe that when this proposal is put before the people of Victoria they will see at once, with a clearer vision than they ever had before, that there is danger in it. That fact has been brought home to me with a vividness I never experienced before. We have given the senate equal representation and the power to amend money bills, we have put limits which are more than the ordinary constitutional limits upon the house of representatives, and we have stopped their ordinary powers in regard to money bills, because it will be unlawful for them to originate certain money bills except under certain conditions; and now in spite of the [start pag

e 937] loyal adhesion which Victoria has given to the smaller colonies, and in spite of our personal endeavours to meet them as far as we can, our advances are rejected, and an effort is made to force this position on us that the senate, which by a large majority of our Legislative Assembly was denied even the power of suggestion, is to combine with the house of representatives to form one house, and to have a still stronger power of suggestion.

Mr. HIGGINS: The hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, says that he is going to knock out the power of amendment in money bills in the joint sitting!

The Hon. E. BARTON: He will confine the functions of the combined assembly to the mere de termination of the question shall a measure pass!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I quite understand that. I am assuming that there is no power to amend m oney bills. I am accepting that position. Who can say that the power of the senate to meet and to debate upon these money bills, to argue that for certain reasons they should not pass, is not a much stronger power of suggestion than was given in the money clauses of the bill? This is carrying things just a step too far. We are being pushed beyond all the limits of endurance, and I say, with calmness and regret, that, in my opinion, my hon. friend has carried this matter just a little too far.

An HON. MEMBER: The hon. and learned gentleman must allow us the contrary opinion!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Certainly, and I hope that one day my hon. friend will be proved to be r ight; but I fear very much that he will not. We have nothing left now but to do the best we can for our colony. We have met the smaller colonies in as fair a manner as we could; but I see myself bound, subject to further reflection, to further argument, and to further eventualities, to support, if it can be moved in any way, the national referendum, either now or in the future.

Mr. SYMON: The hon. member should not sacrifice his convictions to do that!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I have sacrificed my convictions in support of the small colonies to a v ery large extent.

An HON. MEMBER: We do not want favours from anyone!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I believe that if the motion is carried a blow will be given to the federal i mpulse which it will be difficult to recover from. I trust that, whether the required majority is fixed at two-thirds, or three-fifths, or anything else, the proposal will not be carried. I believe that even if it is three-fifths, and there are five colonies in the union-the smaller states will not accept the proposal, because, if it came to a question of state rights, there would be fifty-nine representatives from the

larger colonies, and it would only require fifty-seven votes to carry a measure. That will be worse even than the mass referendum. If the required majority was two-thirds, sixty-three votes would be needed to carry a measure, and we should then be placed in the position stated by the right hon. and learned member, Mr. Reid. He asked us, in language that could not be surpassed for force and emphasis, "Are we to form a constitution in which the will of 2,500,000 people can be prevented from becoming law by the votes of 600,000 people?"

Mr. SYMON: Does the hon. and learned member suppose that all the representatives would vote together?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I am not arguing against the views of the hon. and learned member; I am ac cepting the views which he expressed yesterday. If we provided for a majority of three-fifths there would be less difficulty. It would be consistent with what he said, if five colonies joined the union; but if six colonies joined the union it would not, because it would allow [start page 938] the votes of 1,000,000 people to out weigh those of 2,500,000 people. If we accept the amendment suggested by the hon. member, Mr. Gordon, we shall be in exactly the same position. The wishes of 2,500,000 people may be thwarted by 600,000, and if there are six colonies in the union, it will be worse. Instead of requiring 62 members representing the larger colonies we shall require 75, that is, we shall require 13 more members to carry into effect the wishes of the larger colonies. Are the larger colonies going to endure that? I could, understand it if the referendum were to be enforced.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: How does the hon. member make up the 62 members?

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Sixty-two includes the 50 representatives of the two larger colonies in t he house of representatives said the 12 in the senate.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: Is that with five or with six states in the union?

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: With six.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: What does the hon. member call Queensland?

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Queensland comes nearer to being a small colony than to being a large col ony. She will have a representation of 9 members in the house of representatives and 6 in the senate. South Australia, which is called a small colony, will have 7 representatives in the house of representatives, while Victoria will have 24, and New South Wales 26.

An HON. MEMBER: That is quite right!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: In twenty years' time the smaller states will stand in a strange position. Whe ther we decide that the majority shall be three-fifths or two-thirds, they will stand in an awkward position twenty years hence if we allow the two houses to come together in this way. I think There are circumstances in which the larger states will be overborne and circumstances in which the smaller states will be overborne, and the arrangement will be unsatisfactory to every one of us. I presume that in any of the colonies it will be difficult to obtain adhesion to this proposal.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON: The same might be said of any scheme proposed!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: No; because this is to come after a double dissolution. We will assume a ques tion of state rights to have arisen, and that the two houses have been sent to their constituents.

The Hon. Sir W.A. ZEAL: We are not going to vote for the double dissolution!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: The hon. member has voted for it.

The Hon. Sir W.A. ZEAL: No, I have not!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: It has been voted for.

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he Hon. W.A. ZEAL: It has been voted for; but I have not voted for it!

Mr. SYMON: I might remind my hon. and learned friend that the double dissolution has not been ca rried!

An HON. MEMBER: Not the simultaneous dissolution!

Mr

. SYMON: No; the amendment of the Right Hon. Sir George Turner has been amended so as t o embody that!

An HON. MEMBER: It has been provisionally carried!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Technically my hon. and learned friend may be right; but I am correct substantially, because the votes that were given, 25 to 20, were, I take it, pronounced in favour of a simultaneous dissolution. Therefore, after that has taken place, even in spite of my hon. friend, Mr. Deakin, and my hon. friend, Mr. Symon's successful demurrer, I think on the facts I am correct. What I want to emphasise is that the two houses coming back after that simultaneous dissolution, members will be compelled to stand at their posts; they will be returned by the express mandate of their respective constituencies, said they will be bound to stand firm. Then they will meet together, [start page 939] and what is the result? Is there to be finality? I doubt it. Even with this proposal, if there were finality, it will only be by an abandonment of their positions by some representatives; it will only be by danger to the colonies, large and small, according to the circumstances that there will be any finality. But from that point of view I would urge my hon. friends not to take the very risky and dangerous step of endeavouring to incorporate such a provision as this in the constitution. It is an utterly foreign scheme, more foreign than any other proposal which has been submitted. The referendum has worked in Switzerland; it has been adopted by millions of English speaking people in America; but this proposal has been pitch-forked into this debate at the eleventh hour without the slightest pretence to analogy, without the slightest pretence to adaptability to our constitution, and I do sincerely hope that the Committee will reject it.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS (New South Wales)[11.2]: The hon. member, Mr. Isaacs, no doubt finds himself in a quandary. He has supported equal state representation against his own convictions. He now says that we have gone too far and that the proper time has arrived to retrace his steps. But the hon. member must recollect that only last evening he fathered a proposal to carry equal state representation further than was ever proposed before, that was to carry it not merely into the senate but into a referendum to the people. The hon. member's consistency is most-

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I never proposed to carry it into the house of representatives!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: The hon. member did far more than that. He proposed to have equal state representation so ingrafted on the constitution that the people themselves could never get away from it. Where is the consistency of the hon. member in coming forward to-day and saying that he acted against his convictions in granting equal state rights, and now when a proposal of this character is brought forward, which cuts away the ground from the feet of those who advocate equal state representation, he is going to oppose that proposal? He is going to retrace his steps because the advocates of equal state representation are going too far. No advocate of equal state representation has ever gone so far as have some of the representatives of Victoria. It is an unfortunate thing for the interests of federation that there is this marked difference of opinion between the representatives of the large states as to a principle which is almost universally held by the people whom they represent. The hon. member objects to this proposal because it is a foreign institution. It is no more foreign than the system of federation itself; in fact, our constitution has largely to be built up of foreign ideas. But

it does not matter whether the idea is foreign, or whether it belongs to our own country, so long as the principle underlying it is one that can be defended. Does not the hon. member know that Mr. Gladstone and the great liberal, party in 1893 proposed in the Home Rule Bill exactly the same principle as we are considering now?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Was it with equal representation?

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: As the hon. member knows, there was no federation there, so t hat there could be no question of equal representation, and the interjection is no answer.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Oh, y es; that is the point in bringing the two houses together!

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: There is less ground for having a conference between homes which are elected as legislative assemblies and legislative [start page 940] co uncils than is the case where the representatives are supposed to derive their authority from the one fountain head of representation-from the people direct, from manhood suffrage. Surely there is an opportunity then of bringing the representative together, when the very source of their authority is exactly the same, although perhaps the degree is different. I must express my amazement at the opposition which this proposal is meeting from the representatives of Victoria. I tell the Right Hon. Sir George Turner, and those voting with him, that they now have these proposals in black and white before them. They know at this juncture that the proposals before the Committee are part of a series of propositions, the finality of which is arrived at when we have the mass referendum.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: Then the hon. member is in favour of the mass referendum?

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: I never shrink from going to the legitimate issue of the pr inciples I hold. Since I became a member of this Convention, I have always carried to a vote and to a test all those cases which involve the principles I advocate. If the majority is against me I bow to the inevitable. But because I am defeated on this or that question, that is no reason why I should abandon my support of what I deem to be a good thing, as far as I can get it, always hoping that a time will come when those who oppose me will go one step further with me, at any rate believing that every stage is better than standing still; that every step forward is a step in the right direction. As long as I can get hon. members to march forward with me, I am willing to march on, and when they will go no further I will not quarrel with them because they have gone as far as they could. The hon. member, Mr. Isaacs, and the Right hon. Sir George Turner, said that this proposal, unless safeguarded, would give power to the senate to amend or interfere with money bills. Now the proposal submitted from the Chair gives no power of amendment of any bill whatsoever. The proposal is that laid down in the Government of Ireland bill, the principle that the two houses shall deliberate and vote together thereon, and shall adopt or reject the bill.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: What was the proposal there about a majority?

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: There was a proposal for decision by a majority, I forget what it was exactly. If the hon. member will be consistent and will move the omission of the word "three-fifths" in my amendment with the object of inserting "a majority," I will vote within. When a man comes close to my views I am quite willing to meet him.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: That proposal would be less objectionable!

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: My hon. friend knows that I have not the slightest chance of ca rrying that. But if the hon. member thinks that that is the proper thing to do, let him be manly and do it and I will stand with him. This explanation ought to satisfy hon. members that there is no danger whatsoever of the senate gaining greater power than it now possesses with regard to money bills, because there is no power of amending any bill whatever in the proposal. My hon. friend suggests that w

e might arrive at this stage: that after a bill has been passed by the house of representatives, and

rejected by the senate, a dissolution occurs, and members go to their constituents. They are not rejected, they are fortified in their views, and are more steadfastly constant to their votes. Does the hon. member want matters to remain at that stage?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: No!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: This proposal goes much further. It provides [start page 941] t hat if a majority in the house of representatives with those in favour of it in the senate are sufficiently large to constitute a three-fifths majority, the bill passes. That is a step in the right direction, instead of a minority of two-fifths of the whole parliament standing in the way of progress and legislation, as the hon. member would have it. You do not need one man to give up his principles. You do not need one man to change his vote. The three-fifths majority may be there, existing from the very first moment of the deadlock being created. The majority may never have been increased or diminished by one man. The hon. member asks us to let things stand as they are. That majority, under the proposal I have submitted, will be all powerful. Is it not much better to move that step forward, that where we have that manifest majority of the representatives of the country, there shall be progress in the work of legislation, rather than that we should stand still, rather than that we should adopt the attitude of children who cannot get all they want, and, therefore, will accept nothing at all, and let the country suffer? As to most of these great crises, the intensity of them will be caused by the fact that an insignificant minority, perhaps, is standing in the way of legislation against the will of the great majority, so that in those cases where parties are equally balanced, where there is only a small majority, you may be sure that public opinion will be behind parties there, and you will have a balance which will hold the people too. It is only in those cases where large majorities exist so as to take the question beyond the realms perhaps of debate that there in any necessity to have a provision to meet a deadlock. Where a three-fifths majority is secured, it will be in those cases were it in more necessary to end the deadlocks than in other cases. We have been asked by my hon. friend, Mr. Gordon, whether there is any guarantee from the Premier of New South Wales and myself whether the quota provisions are to remain. He asks whether the Convention is to accept a guarantee as to these quota provisions remaining. I do not want to mislead the hon. member at all. This proposal is made on the bill as it now stands. I take it that if there is a reconsideration of the quota provisions, and those quota provisions are eliminated from the bill, there must also be a reconsideration of these clauses.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON: That is fair!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS:-

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: Vote against it!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: I shall always be found voting against these provisions; but I r ecognise in all honor and honesty that the vote now given is given by hon. members on the bill as it stands, and, therefore, if there is a reconsideration of the context in any one part there must be an equal possibility for reconsideration of the context, and consequential amendments may be fairly considered then.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON: That is fair!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: If we have six states represented in a conference, we shall have 112 m embers, and a three-fifths majority will be sixty-seven members. The house of representatives will consist of seventy-six members, so that if there is practically an overwhelming majority, in the house of representatives, with the assistance of the twelve representatives of the two larger states, the chances are all in favour of a settlement of the deadlock. If we have only five states, the chances are all the greater in favour of a settlement of the deadlock, when the interests of the states with the large populations, or the interests of the people themselves, are more largely concerned. I do not know whether my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Wise, will urge any objection on the [start page 942] ground of the possibility of the minority being converted into a majority, as he did yesterday. That argument,

hon. members will see, is perfectly untenable; because, as the proposals are now before the Chair, the bill must have passed the house of representatives with a majority twice before it can be considered by this conference, so that the danger of having a minority in the people's house converted into a majority by the assistance of the senate, disappears entirely. These proposals, as they are now in the possession of the chair, provide only for the settlement of a deadlock which arises by the obstruction of the senate. I have always intimated my view that the proposal should be of a mutual character; but I have not had my way in that respect, so that the arguments which were used yesterday against these proposals, an the ground that they may possibly convert the minority of the house of representatives into a majority with the aid of the senators must disappear. My friend, Mr. Walker, has made a proposal to make the majority three-fourths. I will advise him to go further, and provide that they shall be unanimous. Then we shall have the rights of the small states guarded with a vengeance. But I do not suppose that anyone will accept a proposal of that character, which is so manifestly beyond all reason, into serious consideration. With regard to these amendments my hon. friend says they have been sprung upon him. As far as I am concerned, a few days ago the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, quoted a passage from a speech which I delivered in this colony.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: That was all abandoned!

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: If my hon. and learned friend had quoted a passage further on he w ould have seen that, in my first address as a candidate for election to this Convention, I advocated exactly this proposal which I am advocating now. In Adelaide I gave notice of a similar series of amendments, and, as the hon. member knows, my right hon. friend, Mr. Reid, and myself had to come back to this colony to conduct public business, and, therefore, I was not in my place in Adelaide to put this proposal before the Convention. But immediately we met here I gave notice again, and yesterday morning I submitted this proposal to my hon. and learned friends, Mr. Barton and Mr. O'Connor, the moment the Convention met. All points of their opposition, it appears to me, fall to the ground. We must have some finality, These proposals will reach finality. They give hon. members who are in favour of the general referendum an opportunity at a later stage to vote for or against that general referendum. They safeguard the rights of the house of representatives with regard to money bills, and they give to the people, if not absolute justices a modicum of justice, which is better than none at all. I ask those who are in favour of granting justice to the people to step forward when they can with those willing to more, and not to refuse allies because those allies will not go to the full length of the proposal which has been put forward.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON (South Australia)[11.18]: We have heard a great deal on the subject of finality. I understand, as regards federation, particularly where state rights are concerned, that for the adoption of any legislation two majorities require to be obtained-a majority in the house of representatives, and a majority in the senate. This does not seem to suit some hon. members, who say, under these circumstances, when we cannot get these majorities we cannot deal with these questions; in short, there is no power in the house of representatives by a majority-to overrule the majority in the senate. I take it that there ought not to be, when state interests are involved. I will go further, and, adopting the argument [start page 943] w hich has been applied at different times on the floor of this Convention, say, "If you are going to provide under any circumstances for a majority of the house of representatives overruling a majority, of the senate, you may as well do it in the first instance, and not indulge in all these various provisions, which will be useless if you let the house of representatives feel that it has the ultimate power of decision." The distinction which I have endeavoured to draw is between the cases in which states rights am involved and the cases in which they are not, and I propose to take the sense of the Committee as to whether we should or should not endeavour to proceed on these scientific lines. You create a senate for the purpose of protecting these states rights; you say to the smaller states particularly, "Do not be afraid to come in; your state rights and interests will be always well guarded by requiring the concurrence of a majority of that senate." If now you are going to say to them, "Well, they shall be guarded for a time, but it is not to be permanent; when there is considerable difference on the subject, although you may have a considerable majority in the senate, the will of the house of representatives should prevail"-I say it is not fair. It seems to me we have not come here for the purpose of discussing a project for federation on those lines. Equal

representation has been held out as an inducement. That means equal power-a necessary majority in the senate; and I put it to those who have previously said that if you give the final power of decision to one or other of the houses, and dispense with the necessity of the concurrence of the two, the whole thing, as regards the protection of state interests, is a delusion and a snare. Of course there are a great many who seem to be prepared to make considerable sacrifices for federation, and so am I. At the same time, I hope I shall not depart from any grave principle unnecessarily, and I shall not depart in this Convention from the advocacy of a principle which I championed elsewhere, and which our constituents have a right to expect we will not abandon without previous consultation with them. I, therefore, put it to hon, members, "Are you prepared to give power to the house of representatives to decide this matter in the long run? If you are, you might as well give it at first; but I think it would be very much better if you tried to draw the line between the two classes of cases, and let the national will prevail in national questions, whilst at the same time retaining for the protection of the state the dual majorities when state interests are involved." For that purpose I would propose, at the proper time, to move to refer the matter to a referendum of the people of the commonwealth in the case of national questions, and to a referendum of the people of the commonwealth and a referendum of the people of the states when state interests are involved. I have already indicated the mode in which I would suggest that there might, when occasion arose, be the definition of state interests. I do not propose to trouble the Convention with that matter at this particular time, but I do ask the Convention to say that in these cases we will take logical grounds, and that where state interests are involved we will give, not only in the first instance, but always, the protection of the double majority, whilst we will dispense with it in the cases where state interests are not involved, and ought not to affect national questions. I will ask the hon. member, Mr. Howe, to temporarily withdraw his amendment in order that I may move to strike out the word "the" in the first portion of the amendment, with a view to the insertion of the word "a," which is the first portion of mine, and which will enable us to decide as to whether or not we shall have this [start page 944] pr ovision for a joint sitting, and will give up once and for all the necessity for the dual majorities which are provided for the protection of state right. I think the logical position is the one which I have indicated, and I feel, as the representative of a small state, trying at the same time to do my duty to all, that I have a right to feel strongly that the house of representatives ought not to be allowed to prevail over the senate when state rights are involved; and they also have a right to feel strongly that the will of the smaller populations represented in the senate should not prevail over the popular wish in the house of representatives when state interests are in no way involved.

Mr. LYNE: The difficulty is to decide which is which!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: There is no doubt about that, but shall we make an attempt to do it?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: How does the hon. member say that state rights will be overridden?

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he Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: I will show hon. members, and I will prove with arithmetical pr ecision, that the proposal which is now before us is simply a cheap and easy and expeditious means of enabling the house of representatives to override the will of the senate. There is no getting away from it-none whatever.

The Hon. A. DEAKIN: That is its great recommendation!

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: That is why the hon. member does not like it!

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he Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: I am really delighted to hear some of my friends who pr otested, in the heat of the moment, in language somewhat similar to that which I myself am compelled to employ in regard to a national referendum, as probably resulting in the overruling of state interests-the finality desired by some in connection with state interests-the extinction of state interests at the wish of the majority of the people-and who at the same time yield to the seductive eloquence of the Right Hon. Mr. Reid, who said practically, "Oh, no; we will not have anything of the

sort"-or, rather, he bows to the majority. He was in a minority which advocated the national referendum, and he suggests something else which, when examined critically as it ought to be, is far more dangerous, and likely to result in the extinction to which I refer, and which has induced a considerable majority of this Convention to say they will not have anything in the shape of a national referendum as applied to all cases. This thing-

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: This what?

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: Thing.

Mr. MCMILLAN: The right hon. gentleman will be classed as a tory soon!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: I was using the word in its mildest sense. This amendment, if i t is worth anything, ought to work both ways.

An HON. MEMBER: So it will!

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he Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: I will prove that it will not. It ought to work for the benefit of t he senate as well as the house of representatives-to enable the majority in the senate, by the aid of a minority in the house of representatives, when state interests are concerned, to have, if possible, their way on questions which form the subject of discussion at this joint sitting. What is the position? We will take the case when there are six colonies represented-76 members in the house of representatives, 36 in the senate-112 in all. If you are going to provide for a two-thirds majority, as is suggested by my hon. friend, Mr. Howe, you must have 75 altogether on your side.

An HON. MEMBER: No; it is of those present, not a majority

[

start page 945] The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: They will all be present; there is no doubt about that. You want seventy-five on your side. If they are not there they will pair, so that it will come to the same thing. You require the command of seventy-five. Put it at its very best for the senate seventy-six members altogether, one in the chair, a majority against it. You cannot have more than thirty-seven on the side of the senate, and you are not likely to have anything so close. How are you going to get your seventy-six together in a joint sitting? Why there are only thirty-six members in the senate altogether, and under the best of circumstances, with the senate in a minority, but in a very substantial minority in the house of representatives, and polling the whole of the Senate, you could not get the majority necessary for the affirmation of the views of the senate.

Mr. LYNE: Hear, hear!

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he Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: There is no doubt about that. Take the lot, seventy-three and you are short of your two-thirds.

An HON. MEMBER: That is right enough!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: Right enough! It is right enough for those who say that the house of representatives ought to have two to one the best of it.

An HON. MEMBER: We do not want two-thirds!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: We will take it in another way.

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he Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR: If the bill does not pass, it does not get its own way!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: But is this thing only going to work one way? If it is intended to be a solution of the difficulty, with the house of representatives as the aggressive party, ought it not to be a fair thing with an equal vote?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS:-

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: The long and the short of it is this; While we are crying out in pious, political horror against the national referendum in all cases, we are providing with a most cheerful alacrity-some of us, at all events-a means whereby the senate can be-to use a word which has been used in connection with this matter-wiped out with every facility, with an impossibility, as it were, of its coming out on top so far as the affirmation of its views is concerned, and with a certainty that it is to be placed prostrate at the feet of the house of representatives. Now, if we are going to have a thing of this sort, why do we not have it in the first instance? If you mean unification-I think my hon. friend. Mr. O'Connor, talked about it before-provide for it simply. What is the good of having a second chamber, when, where state interests are really involved, and the senate should be a permanent force for their preservation, you are going to provide for its final extinction in the simple mode which is commended for our adoption by my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers? I am, of course, prepared to do a great deal in the interests of federation, and after consultation with my constituents, I do not know whether, if you are going to put the power in the house of representatives, I should not be prepared to do it in the first instance without all this round about system suggested for our adoption. But I do not think many of us came here charged with the power, or at least with the duty, of adopting a provision of that description, and, although I cannot help recognising at the present moment that we are dealing with this subject in a tentative way, that it must come on for further consideration, when, I shall hold myself at liberty to give such a vote as after the maturest consideration I may see fit to give, yet at this particular moment I want it to be understood that, In whatever way I do [start page 946] v ote, it is not a final but a tentative vote, and that at least I am attempting to discharge what I conceive to be my duty in pointing out the position in which a close analysis of the figures shows the senate must inevitably be placed by a proposal of this kind. Of course, if you only adopt the three-fifths proposition, you have to get 68 members-not very much difference. Take, on the other hand, the strongest minority you can possibly have in favour of the senatorial views-37; what have you to get in the senate to carry your way?-31, or all but four of the whole of the senate, exclusive of the gentleman who may happen to be in the chair. What chance would the senate have under circumstances such as those? On the other hand, take the 68. Imagine a certain combination-I do not say it is probable; I hope it is not, but it might arise. Suppose that New South Wales has 26 representatives. We talk about combinations of the larger colonies against the smaller colonies. I have not much fear about that. I am using the figures for the purpose of illustrating my case. If state interests are really at issue let us suppose this case-take the waters of the Murray, a matter to which we attach the most vital importance, and in which state interests are involved-you will have 26 New South Welshmen and 24 Victorians in the house of representatives, with 12 members in the Senate. There you have 62 men whose interests in a matter of this sort would be opposed to the interests of the state through which the river Murray ultimately flows. They have only, in the one case, to get thirteen votes from the other states, for the purpose of enforcing their will against the will of the majority of the states who would join, or at least have been invited to join, this federation under the assurance that the senate-a body specially called into existence for the protection of state interests-should permanently and effectively have that power to protect and guard them, which is most insidiously sapped and taken away by the proposal now before hon. members.

Mr. WALKER: Three-fourths would be better!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: Three fourths of 112 would be 84. Then the senate, with a minority of 37, has to get 47 out of the senate, which only contains 36 in all, for the purpose of making 84, the number which will secure effect being given to its wishes. We have hitherto proceeded on fair and scientific and logical lines. We have endeavoured to call into existence two bodies-one charged with the representation of national interests, the other to whom is to be particularly confided state guardianship. Let us arm each effectually. Let the one be supreme in national questions. At the

same time, when-you are asking the other states to come in, subject to an efficient provision for the protection of state interests, do not let that provision be frittered away in the mode which is now proposed, unless after the most mature consideration. Under these circumstances, I shall move the amendment which I suggested for the purpose of asking the House to stick to the position which it seems to me is only the logical and proper position-that in national questions the national will shall be supreme; but, where state interests are involved, the state shall always be given the protection of the two majorities, one of the house of representatives, and, above all, the majority which is specially called into existence for the protection of those interests-the senate of the federal parliament.

Mr. TRENWITH (Victoria)[11.38]: I regret extremely that I cannot see my way to support the proposal of my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers. I think he entirely misconceives the effect it will have [start page 947] in operation if he assumes that it will tend to lessen difficulties, between opposing parties in the commonwealth. I have no idea myself that we shall find states against states at all; but we shall very rapidly find parties against parties in the commonwealth, and our experience of parties has taught us that a substantial majority may exist in one house with a very substantial majority in opposition in another house. If we find parties in that state in the commonwealth a party in the people's or representative house with a substantial majority, and, therefore, justified in the public interest in endeavouring to secure legislative sanction to its will-we may, by bringing down the majority in another house to join the minority in the people's house, prevent for all time the attainment of the wishes of an immense majority of the people of the commonwealth. Now, I think, on the other hand, that the very fair proposal submitted by my right hon. friend, Mr. C.C. Kingston, is one which ought to commend itself to both sections of this Convention. It commends itself to me, who believe that, in every conceivable circumstance, the majority of the people should rule; but it seems to me that it should also commend itself to those who hold that there may arise contingencies in which distinctly state interests are involved, and upon which, therefore, the states have a right to speak as states, without regard to their numerical condition. The suggestion made by the right hon. gentleman provides that, unless a protest be made, unless some objection be taken to any question in dispute, it shall be treated as a national question, and shall be dealt with by a reference to the people by means of a mass referendum; but if, on the other hand, state interests are involved, it requires only one third, a very small number, not of the senate, but of the house of representatives, to say that in their opinion state interests are involved. They are not called upon even to prove the fact to any extent, but there is to be merely an expression of their opinion.

Mr. SYMON: Does the hon. member think that the two-thirds will submit tamely to that?

Mr. TRENWITH: If you make the provision in the constitution the two-thirds will have no opt ion.

Mr. SYMON: Would that not be coercion?

Mr. TRENWITH: We are aiming to secure a solution of difficulties which may arise between the t wo houses, and the only objection to a mass referendum which I have heard urged is that state interests may be involved. Now, the proposal of the right hon. the Premier of South Australia does not provide that one-third can demand a national referendum, but that one-third can demand a state referendum, a dual referendum, a referendum to the people as people, and to the states as states, requiring before a decision is arrived at a majority of a dual character. This seems to me to be a complete protection to those who are afraid that state interests may be injured. I think, and I desire to say that, in my opinion, we are under a debt of gratitude to the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, representing as he does one of the numerically smaller states, for his generosity and fairness in this matter. I do think that in the struggle which we have had, in the maze in which we have found ourselves in discussing this question, the right hon. gentleman has presented the only rational and tangible solution of the difficulty of discovering what are national questions, and what are state questions.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: One-half of the population would have to be lawyers!

Mr. TRENWITH: The giving effect to the proposal of the right hon. the Premier of South Australia would not require that there should be a single lawyer in the house.

[start page 948] Mr. WALKER: There are only twenty-five here!

Mr. TRENWITH: There are probably twenty too many, although I am willing to concede that many of our discussions would have been lame and impotent but for the great assistance we have received from legal members of the Convention. I am not one of those who hold that the fact of one's being a lawyer should be a disqualification for any public position, but I agree with a great many others who think that the fact of a man being a lawyer often induces him to take an intensely technical view of public questions. However, that is not the subject under consideration now. I was endeavouring to show that there would be no necessity whatever for a legal knowledge in order to ascertain whether in the opinion of the senators the interests of a state were involved in some question which it was proposed to submit to a referendum. According to the right hon. gentleman's proposal when a dispute arises and becomes so acute that either house demands a referendum then, and not until then will arise the further question of what kind of referendum there should be. If no protest be made there is a reference to all the citizens of the commonwealth as citizens of the commonwealth; but if a protest be made by so inconsiderable a number as one-third of the house of representatives, no matter how the majority may desire a mass vote, a dual referendum will take place, a reference to the people as people, and to the states as states; and unless a majority is obtained under both conditions the will of the senate will prevail, and legislation upon the disputed point will be lost. Now, I put it respectfully to the hon. member, Mr. Symon, and to others who think with him that there is a danger of state interests being injured, that this is a reasonable solution-one which need not frighten a bold democrat like myself, who believe that the people, as a people-that the citizens, as citizens of the commonwealth, should in the last resort decide all disputed points. It need not frighten such as I, nor need it on the other hand, frighten those who believe that a majority representing the larger states might, under certain conditions, overbear and prejudice the interests of the smaller states. Now, I would like to submit to hon. members a thought which was suggested the other day by a conversation which I had with my hon. friend, Sir Graham Berry. We have been talking all the time about the states, the states, the states, and forgetting almost entirely the object with which we came here. We came here representing states to create a nation-to create here, beneath the Southern Cross, a nation, and thereby to secure for the states in the aggregate that respect in the councils of the world which has not been previously secured to them-to give to them a power of acting in concert, of unity of action, to speak with a common voice upon matters in which, in existing circumstances, they cannot so speak. But we have allowed ourselves to forget the nation, slid we have been continually hovering round the states. Now, we should endeavour to lift ourselves out of this position. We should try to consider how we are to make a nation-a nation calculated to secure respect among the nations of the world-how we are to make our people citizens of such a commonwealth as would cause their hearts to beat more rapidly with a feeling of pride engendered by the edge of their new citizenship. We ought not to continuously and assiduous be overing over our own little locality, and forgetting the great object for which we are here. I conclude by impressing upon hon. members that the manner in which we have discussed this question, the length of time we have devoted to it-

[start page 949] An HON. MEMBER: Shows the importance of it!

Mr

. TRENWITH: The manner in which the galleries are filled during the time we are discussing this question, and the way in which it is discussed in the press during the time we are discussing it, are all evidences that it may be properly described as the corner-stone of federal possibility; and if we are unable to settle it in a way that will meet with the approval of the people, we shall have been wasting our time, we shall have been using the time we have spent in discussing this bill uselessly and idly, and nothing will result from our efforts. Because of the important character of this particular question I would entreat hon. members to make every possible concession when they can without any sacrifice

of principle that they hold dear, and think to be important-to follow the lead so admirably set by my right hon. friend, Mr. Kingston, to forget whether they represent large or small states, and to remember only that they are engaged in building up a nation of which they will be proud, and of which their descendants will be proud in times that are yet to come-a nation that will stand the test of attacks from without, a nation that will meet aggression from abroad with a front sufficiently strong to repel it successfully, a nation that will be free from aggression from within of a violent political character, because of the safeguards, the machinery, and the safety-valve, which have been placed within the Constitution itself.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN (South Australia)[11.52]: It must be a little disappointing to those who were so sanguine last night as to expect that this question would be decided without much further debate, to find to how great a length the discussion is likely to extend. It shows how difficult it is, in a few hours, to decide a question like this, which so closely touches our eternal federal salvation. I, last night, formed a decision adverse to the proposal for the joint sitting of the two houses, and my reflections since then have tended only to confirm that view. I will be as brief as I can, and I certainly will not perorate, or use any words that I can avoid. In the first place, I consider that to carry this proposal would be to place an intolerable strain against the retention of the quota. Every force would be brought to bear, as has been vary properly pointed out by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Isaacs, to withdraw the concession of the quota which has already been made. My hon. and learned friend, Mr. Gordon, considers that he has a safeguard in the pledges of the right hon. the Premier of New South Wales and the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers. I listened very carefully to what the latter hon. gentleman said, but I did not see that he tied himself up quite so closely to this matter as I should have liked. At the same time I am quite sure that anything those hon. gentlemen have said they will stand by; but, admitting that they will stand by it, even the power and influence of those two hon. gentlemen will not, I think, be sufficient to stem the overwhelming demand which will be made that, if this joint sitting is to take place, the proportion of two to one as between the house of representatives and the senate must be overthrown. But, even supposing that the quota stands, we shall have this state of things: we shall have a debate going on in a chamber in which there are two to one as debaters-two members of the house of representatives to one member of the senate-and this would take place only when feeling had already been accentuated and when an esprit de corps had sprung up on the part of each house. Probably under ordinary circumstances hon. members are right in saying that the members of each chamber would not all vote one [start page 950] way, but I say that there would be a tendency to the formation of a corporate spirit in each house when a prolonged discussion had taken place, and I would not be at all surprised if, after there had been a double dissolution, and the senate had come back confirmed in their opinions, the members of each house voted practically almost solidly on the matter in dispute. We all know the strength of debate, we all know what sort of debaters we shall have in this commonwealth parliament. We have seen a very fair sample of their quality in this Convention, and it is not easy for a minority to stand up against speakers, two to one, of such ponderous power of oratory as we shall be likely to have. I say in all seriousness that I have never listened to such able debate as we have had here. I do not believe that in any part of the world you could find a gathering in which more forcible, logical, and eloquent speeches are made, and I say that it would be a difficult thing for a minority of one or two to stand against such influence. Besides, we should remember that this joint sitting will probably be surrounded by the press, who will take the view of the house of representatives.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: Will not the minority have able debaters too?

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he Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: No doubt, but they will be only one to two, and we know the i mportance in debate, where great issues are impending-say in a no confidence debate-of following up a powerful speaker on one side with a powerful speaker on the other side, and it would be a serious matter if we could put up only one powerful speaker against two powerful speakers.

The Hon. E. BARTON: They will be equal!

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: They may all have equal speaking value, but there will be two to one against the senate.

The Hon. E. BARTON: But the hon. member surely does not expect thirty-six speeches from m embers of the senate and seventy-two from members of the other house?

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: Judging from what we have seen, I think there will be a tendency in that way. Then you will have the press present, and we all know and feel the power of the press.

Mr. WALKER: This morning for instance!

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: Every morning during the last few weeks it is very hard to stand up ag ainst a powerful press, and it would be very hard for the senate to stand up against a powerful press that was advocating the views of the house of representatives, to say nothing of the mass meeting of members of parliament that will take place in the environment, which again in a difficult thing to stand up against. With all these influences against it, the senate will be placed at a great disadvantage, and I as one who has stood by the senate, and fought for the senate as a safeguard-

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: Stick to it still!

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he Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: And, as a guardian of democracy, I, for one, if this proposal is ca rried, will take a last loving look at the senate before it disappears into the interior of the chamber of representatives. Now the senate is being gradually chipped into this subordinate position. It has already lost a great deal; but I think this will be its little all. In 1891 there was practically no serious proposal for any machinery by which the senate, when it felt it was doing its duty in standing up against a majority of the population, should be compelled to give in. Even in 1897, a few months ago, in Adelaide, the proposal of the hon. and learned. member, Mr. Wise, was practically scouted; but now he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, and a considerable majority has affirmed, the principle of dissolution. I say that that is as far as we ought to go in that direction. This proposal will amount to annihilation, and it will amount to annihilation of the [start page 951] senate at a time when it has returned from its constituents confirmed in its view and satisfied that it is doing nothing wrong in standing by the just rights of the people of the states. As my right hon. friend, the Premier of South Australia, has pointed out, this machinery is only going to work in one way-that is, for the house of representatives and against the senate. The wheels will only revolve in one direction. It will remove deadlocks when they are caused by the senate; but no power on earth could make it move in the other direction to remove a deadlock caused by the house of representatives. This is simply another final and comprehensive means of insuring that the house of, representatives, like a spoilt child, shall have its way in the last resort. We hear about the rule of the people. Are not the people of South Australia entitled to be heard? In every word I have said here I have been expressing, not my own views, but the opinions of the majority of the House of Assembly in South Australia. Those who talk about democracy and conservatism will do well to consider that if the views I am expressing are tory and conservative views, the House of Assembly in South Australia is a tory and conservative body, which is ridiculous. I do not believe there exists a more enlightened democracy in the world than the representative house in South Australia.

The Hon. F.W. HOLDER: They passed a resolution in favour of the dual referendum!

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: Which I have voted for. We passed an amendment in favour of a dissolution, and I voted for it to save the senate from the charge and penalty of being a conservative body. I have agreed to a dissolution of the senate, because I did not want that body to stand strong against popular opinion, and because I wanted to see it strong only in so far as it was reinforced by popular opinion. But rather than see the proposal before us carried I would see the term of office of the senate reduced to the term of office of the house of representatives. That I do not fear; but I fear to see the senate prevented from acting as it should act, as the bulwark of democracy. As to the parties in the commonwealth being divided into conservative and liberal parties, from any thought and reading I

have given to the matter it is the most arrant nonsense possible. America never has been, and is not at the present day, divided into parties of liberals and conservatives. I defy any one to say which is the liberal and which is the conservative party in America to-day. Before the parties in America had become confused, and when they held WA to their original reasons for existence, the party of state rights was acknowledged to be the party of true democracy. The men who stood up for state rights and the protection of home rule and government were men like Thomas Jefferson, and their names have been handed down reverently from parent to child, as those of the guardians of liberty and democracy in America. The men who were called federalists, who went for nationalism as against state rights, men like Hamilton, with all his genius and transcendent power-where are they now? Their names are not household names in America, as are the names of Jefferson and those who worked with him. So it will be here. Unless we have some great civil war, which will confuse all the issues and blur all the party lines in Australia, and which I hope we shall never have, we shall have the same parties here as existed from the first in America. Parties will be clearly defined: there will be those who wish to see local government, home rule, and state entity preserved; and those who wish to see all these safeguards of the liberty of the people blurred, confused, and obliterated in a central government, which will be situated at [start page 952] a p lace too far distant for the people of Australia ever to be able to ensure effect being given to their views. I thoroughly believe that this last proposal maybe looked upon as, indeed, a proposal for finality. It is a final proposal for the extinction of the senate, of state rights, and of liberty.

Mr. SYMON (South Australia)[12.5]: I submit to the hon. member, Dr. Cockburn, that he is, perhaps, just a little premature in pronouncing so splendid a funeral oration upon the senate. It does not appear to me that the senate is in any such imminent danger of extinction or effacement as my hon. friend seems to think. The object we have all had in view during the last few days of debate has been to arrive at some means of securing finality. We have declared by a vote of two to one that some provision should be inserted in the constitution for the prevention of what are called deadlocks. We have agreed upon the principle so far that, amongst others, at any rate, there shall be a dissolution of the senate, either in the shape of a successive dissolution, or, if the Right Hon. Sir George Turner's proviso as it may be amended is added, by way of alternative, a simultaneous dissolution of the house of representatives and the senate. A large number of hon. members say that that is insufficient, that it might possibly leave things where they were. Various proposals have been made with a view to remedying this objection. Amongst them there has been that of the national referendum, which the Convention would not have at any price.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: There has been no regular vote upon it!

Mr. SYMON: There has been something uncommonly like it then. It was intended to be a straight-out vote. I know the intimation which my hon. friend, doing violence to his convictions, I think, has given, that possibly, if we are not civil and obedient, he will retrace his steps.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: No. What I meant was that we said distinctly that we should vote for that i f the other was not carried!

Mr. SYMON: I know what the hon. and learned member said, and I think that I gave to his ut terance the weight to which, under the circumstances, it is entitled. At any rate, for the moment the national referendum has been rejected by the Convention. Then we had a proposal for a dual referendum, which it was admitted would be ineffective; but it was thought that at any rate it would put off the risk of a continual conflict between the houses for a sufficient time to enable graver consideration to be given to the question at issue, and more moderate views to prevail, so that if the referendum had in the long run to be adopted, it would at any rate have effectually preserved the system of identity of states by requiring a majority not only of the people but also of the states. That also was rejected last night. Now we come to the proposal which was indicated by the right hon. member, Mr. Reid, and which has been formally submitted by the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers. It seems to me that it, at any rate, holds out a solution in the direction of finality upon questions as to which there may be a difference of opinion between the two houses of the federal parliament. Of the

three schemes to which I have referred, this appears to be the best. It has been suggested by those who have hitherto been very staunch advocates of the national referendum, that it provides, not in subs

titution, but in succession to a dissolution-which, in my judgment, will be absolutely effectual of itself-simply another safety-valve, which, however it may work, will have the result at any rate of being final. To that extent surely it is an immense advance. I feel that when the opposition to it is very largely from one of the representatives of one of the small states, it cannot be so [start page 953] adv

antageous to the interests of the senate, or the less populous states, as some members seem to think. The objection of the Right Hon. C.C. Kingston to this scheme is that it will not afford the protection to the senate and the smaller states that he wishes to afford. The representatives of the larger state of Victoria object to it because it will give too much protection to the senate and the smaller states. So that there is evidently some misapprehension, and between the two there may be considerable merit. Of course you may have criticism. of that kind addressed to any scheme that may be submitted to the Convention. Those who believe that there should be something in addition to the dissolution of the two houses, must seek to arrive, if they can, at something which will reach this finality with the least possible mischief. It seems to me that this proposal will reach finality with the least possible mischief. What is more, my belief is that it will very rarely, if ever, be called into operation. I have no such apprehension as has been urged with regard to the required majority. I do not believe in analysing figures, and saying so many figures will make two-thirds, and so many one-third, and that if the vote goes one way you will have the house of representatives dominating the senate, and that if a certain minority vote in another way, you will have the house of representatives dominated by the senate. I do not think that any correct result can be arrived at by such statements. You cannot introduce a mathematical calculation of that kind into the operations of a deliberative body of human beings.

Mr. HIGGINS: They will not all vote one way-senators and representatives!

Mr. SYMON: No. Underlying the objection to this scheme on the part of those who are seeking nat urally and rightly to protect the rights of the individual states, which I emphatically wish to protect also, there seems to be the contention that there would be those strong lines of demarcation between states and states. I do not believe it. First of all, I believe that in the houses themselves the members will vote according to their individual convictions, and the cases will be infrequent in the last degree in which they will feel bound to vote in a body with regard to any state question or interest. If such a case occurs, and you have the senate and the house of representatives meeting together, you will have a solution of what you call a deadlock. Hon. members seem to forget that you have first a double dissolution either in the shape of a successive or a concurrent dissolution. Will anybody tell me that after that, if the difference still exists, the two houses when they meet together as one assembly, will not be prepared to deal with the matter in a spirit of moderation and fairness? Will anybody tell me that those who meet together on such an occasion will not be actuated by a desire to come to some reasonable conclusion, and will not have their differences and angles rubbed off by the discussion which must take place? I do not entertain the slightest apprehension that, if it should ever be necessary to call such a conference into being with a view of supplying an ultimate rule of finality, there will be any danger either of a combined vote of the small states in the senate seeking to overbear the larger body in the house of representatives, or the larger body in the house of representatives seeking to overbear the smaller body in the senate. At any rate, we are here now doing our best to deal with an exceedingly knotty and difficult question in the interests of all the colonies. Looking at the fact that differences of opinion now exist in all the states and amongst us as individuals composing this assembly, I say we have a constitutional object lesson as to what will happen in our federal parliament and [start page 954] f ederal conference. The hon. member, Dr. Cockburn, said that to adopt this proposal would be really an if you were treating the house of representatives as a spoilt child, who, in every complaint, was to have his own way. I do not agree with that position at all. It seems to me you are interposing difficulties and obstacles in the way of either house having its own will, without careful consideration and without the lapse of sufficient time for moderate counsels to prevail. By adopting this proposal, ineffective as it may be, open to criticism as it may be, like every other proposal, I believe you are taking at, least one step towards that ultimate finality which you are so

anxious to secure. On that ground, at any rate, it is a step to which we might well give our assent. The Right Hon. Sir George Turner said he was quite satisfied with the double dissolution.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: I did not say quite satisfied. I said that I was satisfied that in the vast majority of cases the double dissolution would answer the purpose.

Mr. SYMON: That is quite sufficient for my argument. I agree with my right hon. friend that either form of dissolution-

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: No!

Mr

. SYMON: I do not expect the right hon. member to assent to that; but from my point of view ei ther form of dissolution, successive or concurrent, will render any other provision unnecessary. But if my right hon. friend does think that the double dissolution will serve the purpose, where can the objection be from his point of view and the point of view of his colleagues to insert the provision of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, providing for this subsequent conference between the two houses? I am sure my right hon. friends are not actuated by any pique or anything of that kind. They are desirous of accomplishing the object we all have in view. If that object will be accomplished in the majority of cases by a double dissolution or some form of dissolution, there can be no objection to inserting this additional provision asked for by New South Wales.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: I would rather have nothing than take it!

Mr. SYMON: I am afraid that would be acting like the spoilt child that the hon. member, Dr. C ockburn, compared the house of representatives to. Another proposal has been submitted, and I confess it is exceedingly ingenious; but, whilst I consider it is ingenious, I think it would be most mischievous. It involves this: We have decided against the national referendum and against the dual referendum; but this proposal is to embody in the constitution both referendums-the dual and the national. I do not know how we can very well place ourselves in that position, after having rejected each of these in succession. We have said that they were bad separately, but the combination of the two has removed the vice of each, and we now have a most virtuous combination in accepting the two referendums together.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: It is taking the good of each!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Is the hon. member putting it in a fair way?

Mr

. SYMON: I think so. What does it mean to embody the dual and national referendums in the cons titution? Does it not involve the acceptance of the dual and the national referendums? If we put in the national referendum apart from the rest of this proposal, it would only apply to the cases to which it was applicable.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: No; the national referendum was to apply to all cases; the dual r eferendum, as proposed, was also to apply to all cases; but in this proposal the national referendum is to apply to national questions, and the dual referendum is to apply to all cases of state rights-each to its appropriate class!

[start page 955] Mr. SYMON: Then it applies to all the cases to which it is applicable-that is to all the cases, under the constitution, of differences between the two houses. So will the referendum, apply to all the cases under the constitution to which it is applicable-that is, to all the cases of differences between the two houses.

The Hon. F.W. HOLDER:-

Mr. SYMON: No; my hon. friend is leaping before he comes to the stile. Now, what is proposed here? You are to have both referendums under the constitution; but you are not to bring them into application, except in a certain class of cases referable, or supposed to be referable, to each. You an not to allow that to be decided by the executive government, who, I think, would be a better body to decide it, if it were to be decided in that way, than a deliberative assembly, or a proportion of a deliberative assembly; but you leave a certain proportion-it is immaterial whether that proportion is a third or a half-of the house of representatives to decide whether or not a particular question is one affecting national or state interests, and whether or not a dual referendum or a national referendum shall be applied.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: In other words, you allow a small proportion of the smaller states to dec ide whether they will have it applied to other states!

Mr. SYMON: You allow a certain proportion, which may be of the smaller states, to decide; and t he decision-it will be no decision, it will be influenced by prejudice, by strong feeling for their own particular state. You would introduce elements of discord of the very worst possible kind, and in the very worst possible place where they can be introduced-into the house of representatives.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I thought the hon. and learned member said there would be none of that!

Mr

. SYMON: There would be by this proposal. What we are desirous of doing is to keep it out; but if you are going to hand over the determination whether a particular question shall involve a state interest, or simply a national interest, you ought to hand it over to some body entirely independent and removed from the house of representatives-or the senate, for the matter of that-who would be capable of bringing to bear on it a calm and dispassionate consideration, and solving what would really be, not a question of politics, but a question of law. You could not do such a thing by means of this proposal; it is admitted to be impossible that you can sever national questions from state questions. It is admitted to be impossible, and yet you are going to shift this impossibility on to the shoulders of a proportion of a deliberative body. If hon. members think that that can be conveniently done, or they look forward with pleasure to what the results of it would be, it is not a view which I take. My right hon. friend, Mr. Kingston's, proposal, reminds one of the story of the man who went about selling pills which were good against earthquakes. This proposal would have no effect whatever in stopping i

nflamed feeling or putting a satisfactory end to a legitimate difference of opinion between the two houses; but it would produce further complications and distraction and bad feeling, every opportunity for the creation of which, it seems to me, we ought, if possible, to avoid. My hon. friend, Mr. Trenwith, says that this was a generous proposal to come from the representatives of the smaller states. When one hears an expression like that one is apt to suspect whether it is going to have the effect of protecting the senate as is suggested. At any rate, as far as I am concerned, looking at all the proposals which have been made, it seems to me that we should do well to support that which has been submitted by the hon. [start page 956] member, Mr. Carruthers, as, at any rate, although not free from criticism and good ground of criticism, a step towards that, finality which we are anxious to reach. I however, object to its being attached to the alternative proposal embodying the simultaneous dissolution. I will support the proposal made by my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers; but I will oppose the insertion of the proviso which will contain the amendment of my hon. and learned friend, Me Wise, and also this addendum proposed by my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: That means that you will come back to the original motion you carried, and nothing else!

Mr. SYMON: No.

T

he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: Yes, certainly!

Mr

. SYMON: In addition to the proposal of my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: No; because it all forms part of one proposal we had in the bi ll, and you must vote for or against the lot.

Mr. SYMON: No. My hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers, intimated last evening-I am glad of the i nterjection, because it enables me to make this clear-that he would move this as an amendment to the proposal of the right hon. gentleman, Sir George Turner, and that if it were not carried in that shape, then he would move it as an addition to my proposal which was carried on Friday.

The CHAIRMAN: I would point out to the hon. and learned member that that cannot be done. We cannot continue to discuss and rediscuss the same proposals.

The Hon. E. BARTON: On recommittal!

T

he CHAIRMAN: It can be done on the recommittal of the bill.

T

he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: That will not be fair to those who will be away!

Mr. SYMON: At any rate, sir, I am very glad to have got your ruling on that question. My hon. f riend, Mr. Carruthers, intimated last night that he intended to adopt that course; if it is impracticable we cannot help it. The scheme which he proposes, defective though it may be, is one step at any rate towards that finality which we are all desirous of reaching a finality, at the same time, which some of us at least believe will be abundantly secured by the provision for the dissolution of the senate and of the house of representatives which we have already passed, and which I have no doubt the Convention will finally adopt in some shape or form.

Motion (Hon. J.H. HOWE) negatived:

That the Committee do now divide.

Mr. MCMILLAN (New South Wales)[12.28]: I only want to say a word or two at this stage. My course is going to be a very simple one. I intend to vote against every proposal which may come up after this one is decided for settling a deadlock. I think it would be far better for us to remain where we are. I cannot help thinking, although this proposal was in a sort of tentative shape before the Convention at Adelaide, and has been more or less in the minds of some hon. members during this sitting, it was, to a certain extent, sprung suddenly upon us yesterday. I think it is a very serious thing when the whole trend of the mind of hon. members was in the direction of some kind of referendum to have, in a few hours, an absolutely new proposal put before them, and for us to be asked to give a definite decision upon it. Now, I do not agree with my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Symon. I think that if there had been some proposal that we had been discussing for days, such as that involving the referendum, or even the proposal of the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, that might have been put in as a tentative thing upon reconsideration; but I think it is a very serious thing for us in a sort of feeling of despair in our debates to come to a certain conclusion in a few hours to be called upon to consider a proposal involving an entirely [start page 957] new de parture. I am absolutely against the proposal. I have given it every consideration. I do not think it would work well. And I do not think it would be acceptable to the democracy of the larger colonies. As far as the quota is concerned, if you pass this amendment you must make some provision by which the majority, say, of three-fifths shall go up or go down according to the alteration of the relative strength of the houses. That of course can be done in a certain way, and by a mode mechanical, but at the same time some of those who are inclined to vote for this proposal are absolutely against this hard and fast quota, and I am inclined to believe that the author of that quota has come to the conclusion that it has not so many advantages as he has imagined. I consider myself that it bristles with disadvantages. I also feel that, looking at this matter from a fair and impartial point of view, the decision to which we would come by passing this amendment would put the representatives from Victoria in a very awkward position. There is no doubt that there has been a great effort on their part, as well as on the part of New South Wales, to come to some understanding, which, whilst meeting with the wishes of their own democracy would be

fair to the other States; and by a peculiar concurrence of circumstances yesterday, which nobody could foresee, those who were really the advocates of a national referendum became the destroyers of any referendum whatever. Therefore, I say most distinctly, that we have now reached a stage which many never expected, as a solution of this question, and that it is much better that we should remain at this stage, leaving it for the interval to give counsel, judgment, and reflection, and then we will be able to consider all the schemes-not the scheme that may be embodied now in our deliberations, and which would, of course, have an unfair advantage, and which might possibly commit those to it whom the lapse of time might cause to reverse their decision, but who might be inclined, out of a sort of false consistency, to stick to what they had advocated-

Mr. HIGGINS: What is the objection to the scheme from the hon. member's point of view?

Mr. MCMILLAN: I am not going to discuss it now. I believe, as I say, that it bristles with a great m any difficulties.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: Will the hon. member please point them out?

Mr

. MCMILLAN: It has this disadvantage, which I have felt in many other matters that have bee n brought before the Convention-that it is absolutely impossible to see the combinations which may exist between the two houses on certain questions under discussion. I also see that it may give rise, under certain circumstances, to a large amount of corruption to a large amount of wire-pulling; and I also see that a meeting of the two houses, based upon totally different principles, is inconsistent with a federal government. But, as I said before, I would prefer that this matter lay open for calm consideration, and, as far as I am concerned, I am willing, with this as with every other scheme which has been brought forward, to give it the best consideration. And if I feel that, although it is not exactly the one that I believe in, yet it is the best of the whole, I shall be as ready to subserve my own views to the majority as any one in this Convention. I see there is a difficulty, according to the rules of the Convention, in getting back to the position in which we were stopped at the work of last night. I find that the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Wise, states:

Provided that the senate shall not be dissolved within a period of six months immediately preceding the date of the expiry by effluxion of time of the duration of the house of representatives.

That is really the point to which we have arrived.

Mr. LYNE: Which point?

[

start page 958] Mr. MCMILLAN: The point at which the hon. member introduced his amendment. Unfortunately we have gone further than that as a matter of order, and we have inserted:

And if after such dissolution the proposed law fails to pass with or without amendment the proposed law may be referred to the direct determination of the people.

Of course if we negative both of these proposals, then we shall leave in a nonsensical sentence; but I would now appeal to hon, members as a matter of getting through the remainder of our work, and as a means of freeing every member of the Convention from any sense of inconsistency, freeing him from any absolute obligation to any scheme after this interim process-if it is an interim process-I would appeal to hon. members, both on the ground of getting through the remainder of our work, and on the ground of leaving each with a free and open mind for the future discussion, to let well alone, and to stop this deadlock business at the stage we have reached.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[12.37]: The procedure we adopted yesterday has placed us, I think, in an unsatisfactory position. I think that, if the course suggested had been followed-that is, of taking a vote as to whether the clause proposed by the hon. and learned

member, Mr. Symon, should be rescinded or not-we would have known better where we are than we do at the present time. We have now before us a resolution of the Committee in the form of a clause which was proposed by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, and we have also alternate proposals, carried last night which are altogether the opposite-to that which has already been embodied in the bill by the will of the Convention. I have been all along, as hon. members are aware opposed to simultaneous dissolution, of both houses. But it seems to me that what was agreed to last night practically rescinds the clause already adopted, although I am aware it was moved as an alternative to the procedure under the clause, proposed by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon. I promised the right hon. gentleman, Mr. Reid, that I would support him in the proposal he made that in order to provide efficiently for deadlocks, the house of representatives should, in the first instance, be dissolved, and after its return from the country, if the senate and the house of representatives were still unable to agree, then there should be a reference to both houses sitting together. I am prepared to abide by that promise; but I expect that if I do so, those who made it will also keep faith with me. I think there has been rather an inclination to go away from the proposition which has been made. It seems to me that those who made this proposal are now quite ready to accept the simultaneous dissolution of both houses, and if that be so they cannot, of course, expect that I shall keep faith with them, and vote for the conference which they propose with the simultaneous dissolution provisions tacked on to it. I am very much inclined to agree with the hon. member, Mr. McMillan, that the best course for us to pursue would be to leave the clause proposed by the hon. member, Mr. Symon, in the bill, and to postpone the further discussion to another time.

Mr. MCMILLAN: The amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Wise!

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: The amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Wise, is only a pi ece of a clause. When a clause which embodies the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Wise, is put, I intend to vote against it. I do not believe in any alternative in this constitution. The course to be followed should be a clear course; it should be one course, and not two or three courses. I see no necessity for leaving two courses open for any go- [start page 959] v ernment to follow. Surely it is sufficient that we should embody in clear terms the course that is to be followed under the constitution? I would much rather have Mr. Symon's clause rescinded, and Mr. Wise's clause inserted in its place, than I would allow both of them to remain. I should be very glad if the representatives of New South Wales would adhere to the proposal they made last night-that is, that one house should be dissolved, and that then, if an agreement could not be obtained, the conference should take place. I believe that proposal would meet with the support of a large majority of the members of the Convention. But if these hon. gentlemen are going to run away from the proposal they made, and not keep faith with us, then I shall be obliged to vote against the proposal altogether.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Who is running away?

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: The proposal made by the right hon. member Mr. Reid, it se ems to me, is not, being supported now in the way I expected it would be by that hon. gentleman, and also by the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers. I may have misunderstood them; but I should like to have means provided for carrying out the proposal which was made, and then I should be able to vote with them most thoroughly. If, however, the proposal of Mr. Wise is to remain, then I am not prepared to add on anything to it. I disapprove of it altogether, and I should be bound, when the insertion of the clause is put by the Chairman, to vote against it. I regret very much that the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, should have tacked on his proposals to those of Mr. Wise. If he had moved his proposals separately, or else in addition to the clause moved by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, we should have known what we were doing; but, as it is, we are asked to approve of an addition to a substance to which we are altogether opposed, and I am not prepared to do that. If the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, wishes to have any support from me I hope he will try to put his motion in shape either by itself, or else as following after the clause already agreed to, and I shall then be very glad to give it as much support as I can.

Mr. HIGGINS (Victoria)[12.44]: I rose principally when the hon. member, Mr. McMillan, sat down, with a view of objecting to what he suggested. I strongly deprecate the suggestion that we should separate without in some way indicating the best view we can come to with regard to giving finality. I think it is unjust to the public and unjust to the members of parliament in the different colonies who have to advise about it. There is no doubt that, whatever sneers may be indulged in about members of parliament, they have great influence in their constituencies, and we ought to recollect that, if we separate without agreeing to some provision for finality, we shall have all sorts of schemes bandied about from one to the other, and we shall not have anything definite and concrete upon which members of parliament and others can address the public from the platform. It is not correct to treat the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, as entirely novel. It was discussed in Adelaide; it has been discussed in the press, and has often been the subject of debate.

The Hon. E. BARTON: It was proposed, with a slight difference by Mr. O'Connor, and in another f orm by Mr. Carruthers in Adelaide, and there was a good deal of discussion.

An HON. MEMBER: I heard of it twenty- five years ago!

Mr. HIGGINS: It is a mistake to think that this thing is rushed. We should show the greatest w eakness and incapacity as a Convention if we were to say that this problem is too hard for us to solve, and we [start page 960] oug ht to put in something to secure finality. But, of course, the hon. member recognises that the double dissolution, although good in its way, will not secure finality.

Mr.MCMILLAN: There is nothing more simple than to put something in!

Mr. HIGGINS: Put something, and the best you can. I intend to vote for the scheme of the hon. m ember, Mr. Carruthers, though I should like to amend it in one respect, which I shall presently point out.

Mr. LYNE: In what direction?

Mr

. HIGGINS: In the direction of allowing the majority to decide. As to the proposal in its pr esent shape we shall be in a very strange jumble in our voting. The Attorney-General of Victoria has indicated that he thinks the proposal for a joint sitting of both houses would be unfair to the house of representatives and unfair to the people, because they would have sitting with them the representatives of the senate, representing the minority of the people.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: With equal representation!

Mr. HIGGINS: On the other hand, the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, says that we must not hav e this joint sitting because it is unfair to the senate, and the senate would be wiped out. I understand, then, that these two extremes will vote the same way with different objects-one in order to prevent injustice to the lower house, and the other in order to prevent injustice to the senate.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Different cases!

Mr

. HIGGINS: There has only been one referendum put before this Convention, and I voted for it. I do not recognise any referendum but a national referendum.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Are there no eggs but hen eggs?

Mr

. HIGGINS: There are goose eggs.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Of course there are!

Mr. HIGGINS: We shall have a strange medley in our voting at the joint sitting. We shall find those whom we ordinarily conceive to be tories on the same side as those whom we conceive to be liberals. Wrongly, as I think, but rightly as the majority of hon. members here think, we have decided upon allowing each state to be equally represented in one house.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: This is the nearest approach to unequal representation!

Mr. HIGGINS: That is decided so far as the present sitting of the Convention is concerned. The effect of it is this: you have put the sovereignty in commission, as it were; you have it half in the people and have in the states. You are putting the sovereignty, the ultimate yea or nay, in two bodies, with two inconsistent voices, and the only possible way in which you can secure finality is to get those two. voices together in one joint sitting. If in this joint sitting you put these two voices together, you will see what is the ultimate result, and you will at least get finality. Of course I shall hope that, hereafter, before we absolutely pass the constitution, the senate will be so modified as not to include that basis of equal representation which has been alluded to. At the same time, I want to secure finality by some means. There is nothing so bad as leaving it in this state of divided power, and the only way to get finality is to get these two inconsistent sovereign powers together, and see which is the stronger in the end. The amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, is not that there may be an amendment passed by the two houses on their joint sitting, but that the members of the two houses deliberating and voting together shall say whether the proposal should be adopted or rejected according to those present and voting. The amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers-I do not mean the original paper distributed, but the amendment as before the Chair is simply adoption or rejection. The difficulty about amending or suggesting amend- [start page 961] m ents in a money bill, therefore, do not arise. It would be a question of "yea" or "nay." Shall the proposal be adopted or not? As I said yesterday, I agree firmly with the criticism of the hon. member, Mr. Isaacs, that you cannot allow amendments on a joint sitting in the case of a money bill, because you would be giving the senate that which we have taken from them, but upon the mere question of adoption or rejection, when it is remembered that this joint sitting is only to take place after the ordinary constitutional method of appeal to the constituencies-of a dissolution-has occurred, I say that there is little or no danger in simply saying, "Let the two houses sit together, and let us see on the count of heads, which side has the most." I shall hope also that before dealing with the bill at its ultimate stage we may abolish the quota system which compels one senator for every two members of the house of representatives. I shall hope that that will be knocked on the head; but at the same time, I am bound to say this: that if the quota system be retained, a joint sitting is the only reasonable method I can see of arriving at finality. The proposal of the right hon. the Premier of South Australia does not obtain finality. It simply leaves the matter where it was. Assuming that by a resolution of the two houses you come to the conclusion that it is a question which ought to be referred to the states, and if you have a referendum to the states and people, and they do not agree, still there will be no finality. My strong objection to the suggestion is that it does not secure finality. As I said before, I fear that there would be offered too strong a temptation to the opposition to vote that a thing was a states question in order to embarrass the government of the day and to prevent a certain bill from being carried. I shall conclude by moving:

That the word "three-fifths" be omitted.

The CHAIRMAN: There is already an amendment by the hon. member, Mr. Howe, to strike out those words.

Mr. HIGGINS: If they be struck out, I intend to move that there be inserted in their place the words "a majority."

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[12.54]: Whenever I hear any one apologising, I suspect that something is wrong. Now, the hon. member, Dr. Cockburn, apologised for the vote which he gave for the amendment of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon. The hon. member seems to have apologised for having done so on the score that, although setting up a senate with such exceptional

powers, he was not really creating a conservative body. I differ from the hon. and learned member, and that is one of the reasons which actuated me in opposing Mr. Symon's amendment, and which will still influence me in that direction. If we set up two houses equal as regards the suffrage, and armed with the same powers, we shall find one body obstructing the work of the other. Now, when the Canadian federation was instituted, it was stated by Lord Elgin, when the proposition was made to establish a senate based on a pretty wide suffrage, that a senate set upon such a basis, and practically as strong as was the lower house, would be a strong body to fight on the side of conservatism. As regards the French Chamber, an attempt was made to sweep its effective power away, to prevent it from exercising the large powers conferred upon it, upon grounds similar to those upon which supporters of the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Symon, rely. I take up this position: That if you endow men of intellectual energy with great powers they will not allow those powers to rust. I rely upon the celebrated dictum of that great master of human nature who said:

He that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not this capability and god-like reason to fust unused.

[start page 962] I find in the annals of the "American Academy of Political and Social Science," the following with regard to the case of the French Senate:-

It was maintained, with regard to the first, that the Senate could not justly be asked to act merely as a registering machine in the case of money bills. A house of lords composed of hereditary members, or an upper chamber largely named by the sovereign, might with some reason be required to yield in case of conflict; but the French Senate sprang from universal suffrage, equally with the Chamber of Deputies, even though indirectly, and it could not reasonably be required to efface itself.

I say that the same principle operates here as in France, and that, if you establish two chambers, equal in regard to the basis of representation and invested with the same powers, you will find one chamber obstructing the work of the other, upon the principle suggested by the quotation I have just made; because one chamber will decline to, by inaction, efface itself, and also from the perversity of human nature. Apart, altogether, from the question of a federation, I am strongly opposed to the principle of Mr. Symon's amendment. The hon. member, Mr. Isaacs, urged in opposition to Mr. Carruthers' preposition that there was no analogue in existence to justify its adoption. I fail to see that there is any substantial distinction between the Norwegian scheme and this scheme. In Norway, also, you have the numerical disparity between one house and the other, yet you have two houses joining together.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Originally one house divided into two committees!

Mr

. GLYNN: Originally one house, resolved itself into two committees, the number of one com mittee being greater than the number of the other. These two committees again merged into one, the disproportion of numbers being still carried out. Therefore, the minority represented on the one side would, to as great an extent as under the amendment before us, be in danger of being out-voted, and the majority might equally find itself to some extent nullified. That might happen under the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, but I think the analogy between the two cases is perfect. You have two committees, different in number, combining into one, and allowing legislation to proceed upon the vote of two-thirds. What is the position as regards Mr. Carruthers' amendment? I do not care whether you take the proportion of three-fifths or two-thirds as the basis of legislation. We will say that there is a total of 112 members, of whom 76 are in the house of representatives. Under the three-fifths proposal the majority required would be 67. There is a fraction, but that will not affect the argument. The two large states will furnish 50 of that number. From the senate there would be 12; so, with the combination, we would get 62 out of the required 67; therefore, we would then have to get 5. To make up 5 there would be a balance of 26 in the house of representatives, and of 24 in the senate, a total of 50. If, you take two-thirds, the number required will be 74 to form the necessary majority, and, to get that, we would have, as before, 62 members in the house of representatives, and

the senate, who could be called upon by the two large states. So the number to be made up is 12, and, as I have already mentioned in connection with the three-fifths proportion, in the case of the two-thirds, to make up 12 you would have a balance of 50 members-that is 26 in the house of representatives, and 24 in the senate.

[The Chairman left the chair at 1 p.m. The Committee resumed at 2.5 p.m.]

Mr. GLYNN: Just before the adjournment I was endeavouring to point out to the Committee that no matter what majority you have, three-fifths or two-thirds-

An HON. MEMBER: Or three-fourths!

[

start page 963] Mr. GLYNN: I have not gone into the figures as regards a three-fourths majority, for I do not t

hink that the Convention would agree to a three-fourths majority, which would be rather unfair to the larger states. But, whichever may be the majority most likely to be accepted by the Convention, I take it that the large states need have very, little fear that their demands would not receive adequate and just recognition. In the case of three-fifths, the majority to be made up will be 67. As a matter of state interests will by assumption be involved, it is just to take it for granted that an amalgamation of votes will ultimately take place, and by this amalgamation the large states get in the house of representatives 50 votes, and in the senate 12, making a total of 62. Therefore, the balance to be made up, in the case of a three-fifths majority, would be only 5, and, in the case of a two-thirds majority, they would have 62, on the proportions already mentioned, and the number to be made up would be only 12. I say that if the policy, support of which were required by the larger states, were one which could not secure, in a three-fifths majority, a balance of 5 votes, or if in the care of a two-thirds majority, it was one which could not secure a balance of 12 votes, I fail to see how it could be founded on justice, reason, or expediency. In the case of a consolidation of votes, if the policy were one that had the slightest recommendation of justice and expediency, there ought, to be little difficulty on the part of the large states in getting, in one case a balance of 5, and in the other case a balance of 12. I think hon. members will agree with that position; and, therefore, without saying on what grounds the small states would adopt these majorities-looking at the matter purely from the point of view of the fears of some members of the larger states, I say that there is very, little that ought to cause any timidity on their part. That is, on what I may call grounds of mere abstract or a priori consideration as to what would be likely to take place in the voting and as, to the prospects of obtaining the balance to make tip a majority. But look at what takes place in France. As I mentioned last night, on a question arising as to a revision of the constitution, the National Assembly consists of an amalgamation of the two houses for the purpose of voting. The Senate is composed of 300 members, and the Chamber of Deputies, being on a population basis, is composed of a larger number.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: 573!

Mr

. GLYNN: Yes, about that number. I know that it is one for every 100,000 of the population. I do not know the exact number of deputies now; but, as the hon. and learned member, Mr. Isaacs, has mentioned, the proportion is about 300 to 573. Therefore, on amalgamation there, the same grounds of fear would be capable of being urged that are being put forward here by representatives of the smaller states; and, from another point of view, by representatives of the larger states, if they voted on amalgamation according to the numerical strength of the separate houses. But they do not, and that is the reason why I say that there would be very little difficulty experienced by the larger states in making up the small balance of five or twelve. The assumption of block voting against reason is not justified by experience. I mentioned last night-I think hon. members will excuse me for repeating the figures, because they are exceedingly important; from this point of view-that on matters involving in some cases almost the existence of the Senate, a vote took place on consolidation lines. In 1884, after an agitation that began in 1882, the National Assembly sat for the purpose of considering a proposal made by the Chamber of Deputies to take away the right of the Senate to amend money, bills or to interfere with the budget.

[start page 964] There were several other amendments also referred to the National Assembly for consideration, and although the matter had been agitated for two years, and although the Chamber of Deputies had a very large proportion of votes in the National Assembly, the vote, which was a consolidation vote, was in this way: There were 502 votes for, and 172 against; so you see there the 300 votes of the Senate were not block votes in the National Assembly, and the majority of 502 must have been very largely made up of some of the votes of the very senators whose powers, if not whose existence, were being aimed at by the amendment made in the National Assembly. There was another question which involved the respective rights in constitutional matters of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate-a vote that was taken in 1875, shortly after the establishment of the Constitution. In that case the vote was 526 to 249, and as the Senate had only a total number of 300 members, some of the senators must have gone over to make up the majority in favour of the proposal which toned down their powers. So I think I am justified in taking up the position that if the amendment proposed by the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, is agreed to, instead of the vote being carried out according to the numerical strength of the two houses, it will be a unitarian vote, given, with some allowances for class and state prejudices, on the grounds of common-sense, expediency, and fairness. Therefore, I would support that amendment. Last night I supported the principle of a dual referendum, which, after a dissolution of the two houses, I think would be the best expedient we could adopt. But that has not been accepted, and I am driven back to take up some position in regard to this vote.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: There is the proposal of the Right Hon. Mr. Kingston!

Mr. GLYNN: I cannot at present see my way to adopt the amendment of the right hon. member, Mr . Kingston. I do not wish to repeat arguments which have been so very well used by hon. members; but I would simply say this, in addition: The proposal of the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, would leave open the possibility of state rights or state interests being continually agitated in the parliament. It is a provision for deadlocks, and wherever any arose the cure sought by the right hon. member to be administered would necessitate the raising of State issues. If we leave matters alone, I believe that state issues will not arise. I believe that we hear of them in this Convention, because we have to be cautious to make provision for possibilities, although they may be exceedingly remote; but in the actual working of the constitution I do not believe that, perhaps, once in thirty years, if ever, a real state issue will arise; and, as I have said, the provision proposed by the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, would necessitate the precipitation or suggestion of state issues, practically, under all circumstances.

The Right Hon. G.H. REID: It would keep the sore open!

Mr

. GLYNN: Yes, it would keep the sore open. I do not wish to perpetuate the passions, turmoil, and f erment to which, during the last twenty-four hours, we have unfortunately become too much accustomed; therefore I cannot support that proposal. The only attempt that has been made to separate state issues from federal issues is in the German Constitution. In the German Constitution there is a provision that wherever a matter is not a matter that affects the empire as a whole, but is one that affects state rights or state interests, then only those states which are affected by the question can vote upon it; but, if I am not mistaken, there is either a specification of those matters, or some attempt has been made to indicate what they are in the lines of the constitution itself. But under the amendment of the [start page 965] right hon. member, Mr. Kingston-and this is what would be unfair to the larger states-we should put in the hands of the smaller states-either half or one-third of the whole-the power of suggesting a question as a state issue. We know that in these matters it would be very hard to differentiate between what is and what is not a state issue, so that the ultimate arbiter would be the passions or prejudices of the representatives, which, upon the assumption that means are required to prevent deadlocks, would be at white heat at the time. I, therefore, cannot support the proposal. The right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, referred to the question of the control of the rivers as questions which might raise a state issue; but you will not raise this state issue in the federal parliament, because we shall settle in the constitution itself the lines upon which the rivers are to be dealt with.

The Hon. S. FRASER: The constitution might be amended in accordance with clause 121!

Mr. GLYNN: The deadlock question does not affect that at all; it is altogether separate from it. We shall settle in the constitution once and for all the extent to which there is to be federal control of the great arteries of commerce, including the rivers within the union, and once that question is settled no question of state rights in regard to it will arise between one state and another. I do not think, for instance, that there would be a block vote against South Australia, simply because a system of locking the rivers would give us more trade than we might otherwise get. If that were a state issue, it is not one which would separate the senate from the, house of representatives. It would be a question between some of the states in the senate and other states in the senate, or between some of the members of the house of representatives and other members of the house of representatives. It would not give rise to a deadlock by creating a conflict between the two houses, which is the subject with which we are called upon to deal now. I hope that whatever may be the result of the voting on this question it will rather arouse the sense that a compromise has been effected than that a victory has been gained by one side or the other, so that the federal edifice may take its symmetry and its beauty from a harmonious blending of what is reasonable in the opinions of all.

The Right Hon. G.H. REID (New South Wales)[2.18]: I am not going to address the Committee for more than three minutes, because I feel that anything like a long speech at the present time is quite out of place. I can say with a supreme confidence that the proposal that the two houses should sit together under a three-fifths majority is infinitely better than anything else the Convention is likely to agree upon. We all have our opinions upon this subject, and if we had our own way we should provide different solutions of the difficulty. At the same time we reserve to ourselves the right to reconsider the whole question in the light of further information; but I have no hesitation in saying that I look upon the proposal that the two houses should sit together and decide these matters by a three-fifths majority as absolutely the best we have before us which has any chance of success. The right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, has naturally great attachment for his own little bantling. I generally look at the concluding sentences of documents of this kind first, and the concluding sentence of his suggestion is beautiful.

By the above effect will be secured to the national will in admittedly national questions, while state interests will be fairly guarded.

That is beautiful, and is what we all aim at. But when we look at what the hon. and learned member proposes to carry it out the thing falls to pieces. The right hon. member is in the difficulty in which I was [start page 966] the other day. I said, as he says, let us mark the national questions with a national referendum and the provincial questions with a state right. But if you cannot do that in connection with the subjects dealt with in the bill, how can you possibly do it with any reasonable chance of giving satisfaction in regard to measures which come before the federal parliament? If it cannot be done in genesis it certainly cannot be done in detail. I think that that is obvious. The bad result would be this: that the war between state and national interests would be kept up in perpetuity. Every question that came up in the commonwealth parliament might raise this eternal fight between the two interests. Would not that be the greatest calamity that could happen to the commonwealth?

An HON. MEMBER: It would entail it!

T

he Right Hon. G.H. REID: It would keep it alive. Whilst we want to make some provision ag ainst deadlocks, if this will enable us to say to the people, "This constitution will work well, and we have put into it something, though in a rough and ready fashion, perhaps, which, if there is a crisis, will settle it," we shall have done pretty well. My right hon. friend puts these alternatives. He allows one-third of the house of representatives to declare that state interests are involved. That means that the representatives of Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia will have to agree to make a question a state question; or half the representatives of half the states in the house of representatives, that is, two and a half in Western Australia, two and a half in Tasmania, and three and

a half in South Australia. If you could divide people up in that way, that would sum up a total of eight and a half votes to decide whether a question was or was not one involving a state interest. In one of the alternative schemes, one half would have to vote solid, and, in the other, eight and a half votes would do. We will all think over this matter during the adjournment; but I think that the course of sitting together will bring deadlocks to an earlier, a less expensive, and a friendlier determination than anything else. There is no doubt, as we know from our experience of conferences between the two houses, that if you bring them together even in the bitterest times, the result is greater friendliness, greater courtesy, and a greater desire for settlement. That has been our local experience, and I confidently believe that, if you place men face to face, and let them thrash a thing out, the effect will probably be to bring the two houses into more amicable relations. We all hope that there will very seldom be any necessity for this. I think that this is the best thing we can do upon the whole. I am absolutely sure, so far as one can be sure of anything, that it is the best we can do. If we can get any light on the matter further on, we shall all agree to act according to our convictions. As to money bills, it was agreed last night that an appropriation bill and a tariff bill should not be submitted to a vote in detail upon every clause. So the conference would run on the lines of the general provisions of the constitution as to money bills or bills which are not money bills. In the case of money bills, the question to be decided would be "That the bill do now pass." In the case of ordinary legislation, I see no reason why, if you bring the two houses together, you should not give them the opportunity of going through the whole measure clause by clause, and making it as good as they could. With regard to money bills, however, it will be seen that measures of that kind cannot be amended; but I have no objection to general measures being open to review by the general public.

The CHAIRMAN: If the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Howe, is put, the amendment of t he right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, cannot be put.

[start page 967] The Hon. J.H. HOWE: To facilitate matters, and to end discussion, I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. WALKER: Under the circumstances, I would ask leave to withdraw my amendment, too.

T

he CHAIRMAN: The hon. member's amendment is not before the Committee.

Mr. HIGGINS: Do I understand that the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Howe, can be put l ater on?

The CHAIRMAN: I understand that the hon. member, Mr. Howe, has withdrawn his amendment f or the present to enable the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, to move his amendment.

Amendment (by The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON) proposed:

That the word "the," at the beginning of Mr. Carruthers' amendment, be omitted with a view to inserting the following words: "a referendum of the people of the commonwealth in the case of national questions, and to a referendum of the people of the commonwealth and a referendum of the people of the states where state interests are involved."

Mr. SYMON: This will be a test vote this time!

HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Q

uestion-That the word "the" proposed to be left out (Mr. Carruthers' amendment) stand part of the amendment-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 30; noes, 11; majority, 19.

AYES.

Barton, E. Henry, J.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Higgins, H.B.

Briggs, H. Howe, J.H.

Brown, N.J. Leake, G.

Brunker, J.N. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Clarke, M.J. Moore, W.

Crowder, F.T. O'Connor, R.E.

Dobson, H. Reid, G.R.

Douglas, A. Solomon, V.L.

Downer, Sir J.W. Symon, J.H.

Forrest, Sir J. Venn, H.W.

Fysh, Sir P.O. Walker, J.T.

Glynn, P.M. Zeal, Sir W.A.

Gordon, J.H.

Grant, C.H. Teller,

Henning, A.H. Carruthers, J.H.

NOES.

Berry, Sir G. Peacock, A.J.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Quick, Dr. J.

Deakin, A. Turner, Sir G.

Isaacs, L.A. Wise, B.R.

James, W.H. Teller,

Kingston, C.C. Holder, F.W.

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment (by Hon. J.H. HOWE) again proposed:

That the word "three-fifths" be omitted from the amendment of Mr. Carruthers, with a view to inserting the word "two-thirds" in lieu thereof.

The CHAIRMAN: The question is:

That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the question.

The Right Hon. G.H. REID: Of course, if that amendment is carried, I absolutely withdraw from t his proposal altogether.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: I desire to ask for the guidance of myself and other hon. members, what will be the effect if we create a blank, seeing that there are two or three proposals-one to insert the word "three-fourths," another to insert "two-thirds," and another to insert a bare majority? Which proposal will be put from the Chair first?

The CHAIRMAN: The amendment which has been first proposed.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE (South Australia)[2.31]: As far as I am individually concerned, I have every faith in the double dissolution. I believe we have been creating a monster in our imaginations that no man who will ever live on the Australian continent will see. It is no wonder, therefore, that we cannot devise any human means to get out of the difficulty. We are trying to find a remedy for a disease that will never exist. That is quite sufficient to account for our failure to bring forward some means which will end this difficulty. However, I should be very sorry to see federation wrecked on that account. That is why I voted with the able and learned Attorney-General of Victoria. I voted with [start page 968] him for the dual referendum in Adelaide, and also at this meeting, but I could see that we were in such a minority that it was useless fighting any longer. Consequently, I am here to compromise matters. What ever my action may be to-day, it is simply to try to secure a compromise where by some method will be placed within the four corners of the constitution of Australia to meet this difficulty which we have been frightening ourselves so much about. I am now placed in a quandary, because the Right Hon. the Premier of New South Wales, now taking a higher step, intimates that if I carry this amendment, which I consider is a very fair one, and which will work out equitably, he will withdraw from his position, so that the whole fabric we have been trying to erect falls to the ground. I do not like to be threatened or coerced by any man living; but still I put my own feelings on one side in order to bring about true federation. Consequently I withdraw my amendment.

The Right Hon. G.H. REID: I do not want the hon. member to withdraw his amendment. I will vote against it!

Mr. HIGGINS: I understand that the hon. member has withdrawn his amendment!

T

he CHAIRMAN: The hon. member cannot withdraw it except with the leave of the Committee.

Mr. HIGGINS: I understand that the hon. member proposes to withdraw it with the leave of the Committee!

The CHAIRMAN: Is it the pleasure of the Committee that the Hon. Mr. Howe have leave to withdraw his amendment?

The Hon. Sir P.O. FYSH: No!

Mr. HIGGINS: Then, Sir, I have a prior amendment to move. I wish before the word "three-fifths" is inserted to insert the words "a majority."

The CHAIRMAN: It is too late now. The hon. member can fill up the blank if one is created.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: May I ask, sir, if this is the position: the hon. member, Mr. Howe, has moved an amendment to strike out a certain word, and if that is permitted to be withdrawn, the word will have to remain?

The CHAIRMAN: That has not been permitted.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: The motion is that the word shall be struck out, and those who are for a greater proportion than three-fifths, and also those who are in favour of a less proportion will vote, for their own respective reasons, for creating a blank, some for the purpose of putting in more than three-fifths, and some for the purpose of putting in less.

The CHAIRMAN: If a blank is created, I will put first of all the question to fill the blank with the w ord "two-thirds," because that is the first proposal, and then, if that is negatived, I will put the question to insert the words "a majority."

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER (South Australia)[2.37]: I have not spoken on this question before. I did speak on the proposal to which this is an amendment; but I feel the greatest difficulty in coming to a conclusion how to vote at the present stage.

The Hon. S. FRASER:-

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I look upon this as being a mere intermediate condition, having no finality at all, in which we may create a terrible misleading, possibly, of public opinion, for it might be thought we had come to conclusions when we were only expressing somewhat crude opinions. On this question, I feel I confess what I do not often feel on questions on which I vote-the greatest possible doubt. I think the wisest way would be to leave what has been carried to stand until the Convention meets again, and not to saddle the measure with the appearance of our coming to conclusions which we really have not come to, which are merely suggestions for consideration.

[start page 969] The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: What does my hon. and learned friend think has been ca

rried?

The Hon Sir J.W. DOWNER: We have carried two things.

T

he Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: That is right!

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: We have carried the amendment of the hon. and learned member, Mr . Symon, and the alternative of the double dissolution.

Some HON. MEMBERS: No!

Other HON. MEMBERS: Yes!

T

he Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I think in substance we have. We have had a vote on that identical question, and it has been carried. I do not say I agree to that. My views are pretty strong on this question altogether. I do not think merely as my hon. friend, Mr. Howe, put it, that we are anticipating terror's which will never happen. I will go much further. I will say we are creating the very mischiefs which we are making machinery to prevent, and which would never arise, if, in our studiousness to prevent evil we did not suggest, and by our suggestion compel, its existence. But at the present stage the thing would be carried. I have, said before in this discussion that, rather than see federation fail, I would take the double dissolution and the dual referendum, and I will be found to be true to that view throughout when the time for my decision comes rather than that the cause should fail. But observe the difficulties in which we are placed. On one side we have New South Wales saying, if you do not

let us have just what we want, good-bye to federation. We have Victoria telling us with even more eloquence, and certainly with greater fervour-

Mr. SYMON: And with greater frequency!

T

he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: But not with greater frequency than appears to be necessary!

T

he Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I do not like to enter into that, because I think there is too great a desire to reiterate their views on the part of a good many hon. members.

An HON. MEMBER: Not the lay members!

T

he Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: No; but listening to one and another, and anxious for federation, I find if I get it here I lose it there, and if I get it there it is hopeless here. Then we known this is not the final stage.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST:-

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: If it were the last stage, I should be prepared to come to a conclusion and state boldly what it is; but we know that whatever we do is to be subject to a long ordeal of public criticism, in which there will be an endless number of other suggestions made, and the fat will be in the fire again. All the old business, with the repetitions of the same idea we will have over again, possibly with the addition of fresh suggestions. Under these circumstances, I have, though with great doubt, resolved to vote against any further amendment. I think when we meet next time we shall be able, we must come to some conclusion.

MR. SOLOMON: No. We shall have an adjournment for the sake of some other elections!

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he Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I think it will be safest at the present stage to stop where we have gone, to go no further. Of course, I have the least difficulty in doing this, because I disagree with it all. My opinion is so strong that this provision for deadlocks is unnecessary, that I am considerably assisted in the stand I am taking from that conviction; but yet I would not keep to that position, I assure my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Reid, if I thought that the cause of federation was [start page 970]

trembling in the balance. But it is not trembling now. We have not reached that stage, so I think as at present advised, I will stand by the amendments which have been carried, and object to any further proposal.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[2.43]: I think the Committee might as well be alive to the difficulties which surround this question. It is proposed that the majority shall be "three-fifths", and there is a counter-proposition to that, that it shall be "two-thirds." Its withdrawal has been objected to, and now we will have to vote on it unless the objection is withdrawn. The difficulty I wish to point out is this: that if the gentlemen who are in favour of two-thirds vote with certain of my hon. friends who want to destroy this amendment altogether, a blank will be created, and then they will find themselves in a peculiarly difficult position, because they will have to choose between the position that the blank be filled by the word "two-thirds," in which case a large number of supporters of this proposal as it stands will vote against them; and, if the two-thirds proposition is lost, they will have to choose between allowing this matter to be decided by an absolute majority and leaving a complete blank. Either, then, there will be a complete blank or the thing will be decided by an absolute majority, I, therefore, ask hon. members not to take any such course as will lead them into that predicament.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[2.45]: I would appeal to my hon. friend, Sir Philip Fysh, to allow the hon. member, Mr. Howe, to withdraw his amendment. It seems to me rather hard on that hon. member that he should not be allowed to withdraw it, and if it is withdrawn, my hon. friend, Sir Philip Fysh, may propose something in its place. I, of course, would very much

prefer two-thirds to three-fifths. I think it would make the senate stronger. I do not wish to go to a division upon a proposal which the hon. member himself wishes to withdraw. I regret that the Premier of Victoria should take such a strong stand in regard to the matter, and we all know that the decisions to be arrived at here are not absolutely final. I do not agree with the hon. member, Sir John Downer, that, because we are going to meet again, we should not exercise our judgment as regards anything which is brought before us now, for I think that if we exercise our judgement now to the best of our ability, leaving it open to us to alter our opinion before we meet again if we find any good cause to do so, we shall be really assisting federation. Probably when we meet again the matter will be new, and the differences and discussions will be greater than if we exercise our best judgment at the present time. Personally, I prefer the two-thirds, but at the same time, I am quite willing that three-fifths should stand for the present, in order that we may consider the matter between now and when we meet again. I recognise that hon. members here are surrounded by great political pressure. Of course that is absent altogether in my case. Being far removed from the colony which I represent, I am more free to speak on these matters than, perhaps, I should be if I were surrounded by great political pressure, as are the representatives of New South Wales. I thoroughly understand that, and therefore I do not wish to do anything, and I hope I shall not do anything, which will make the pressure greater than it is. I think the best thing to do is to allow the hon. member to withdraw the amendment. There is not such a terrible difference between three-fifths and two-thirds.

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: One-fifteenth!

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he Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: It is less than seven in a hundred. At any [start page 971] r ate we shall be subscribing a principle which can be altered when we meet again. I think we had better allow the three-fifths to stand, and we can discuss the matter in Melbourne or some other place later on.

The Hon. Sir P.O. FYSH (Tasmania)[2.47]: It appears to me that we have come, so far as this session is concerned, at any rate, to the last resort, and that is the adoption of something like the Norwegian system. Presuming, therefore, that what we are doing to-day will be some guide as to what may be done hereafter, I wish to register my opinion that 74 out of 112 is not too large a majority to maintain. Two-thirds will be 74, and three-fifths will be only 66. But in deference to the generally-expressed desire to avoid any thing like delay, I shall withdraw my objection to the hon. member, Mr. Howe, having leave to withdraw his amendment.

The CHAIRMAN: I understand that the hon. member, Mr. Higgins, also objects to the w ithdrawal.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER (Victoria)[2.49]: As I mentioned before, I consider that proposal a great blot on the bill, and I am desirous of reducing that blot as much as I possibly can. With that object in view, if this proposal is carried, I am going to propose that there shall be a simple majority-not a majority of two-thirds, three-fourths, or four-fifths. Therefore, I certainly shall support the creating of a blank, with the object of filling up the blank with the words "a majority."

Mr. HIGGINS (Victoria)[2.50]: If the standing orders of South Australia will allow me-when the hon. member, Mr. Howe, withdraws his proposal-to move the same proposal again, I will certainly not stand in the way of his wish. But if the standing orders prohibit me from doing it, I must object to the withdrawal. With regard to the question of three-fifths, I desire to say that it will give us no finality. If we have two-thirds, three-fourths, or three-fifths, we make no provision for a case where there is a majority, and where we have not two-thirds or three-fifths. What we want mainly is finality; and, as we are all making sacrifices to obtain it, it might as well to insert the words "a majority." Therefore, if the hon. member, Mr. Howe, has leave to withdraw his amendment, I shall move the omission of the word "two-thirds " with the view to the insertion of "a majority."

The CHAIRMAN: According to the standing orders of South Australia, if a proposition has been put from the Chair any single member can object to its withdrawal and insist on taking the sense of

the House or the Committee as the case might be upon it. If hon. members object to the withdrawal of the proposition of the hon. member, Mr. Howe, it will have to be put. It does not matter whether it is put by the hon. member, Mr. Higgins, or Mr Howe. The hon. member, Mr. Howe, can vote against his own proposition if he likes.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: No, I will not do that!

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he CHAIRMAN: I will put it again: That the hon. member, Mr. Howe, have leave to withdraw hi s amendment."

Mr. HIGGINS: I object!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS (New South Wales)[2.53]: There is no doubt that, in connection with this vote, there will be a combination of hon. members with extremely different views, and as a result of that combination it is likely, unless we keep our heads cool, that the whole of the proposals will be defeated. The anxiety of the Premier of Victoria is to destroy the proposal in its entirety. He says so in so many words.

[start page 972] The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: I said I should vote against it at every stage!

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: On the other hand, the hon. member Mr. Howe, and those who ar e working with him, may give their assistance to accomplish a purpose which is far from their aim. They desire to have certain words altered; they desire to have a definite proposal in a modified form. Supposing they unite their forces with those who are manifest and declared destroyers and wreckers of this proposal. They create a blank. Having created a blank they ask for the insertion of the words "a majority." Of course, if there is a combination of forces then to prevent that being carried it will be defeated. Then the proposal is made for the insertion of the word "two-thirds." There is again a division of forces, and that is defeated, and thus we shall have the whole of the proposals wrecked. Although I am in favour of having this proposal carried by a majority, still I have not lost my commonsense and coolness of judgment sufficiently to vote for any proposal which would defeat the intention of the Convention. I intend, therefore, to accept the test of the first division-"That the word proposed to be omitted stand part of the question"-because, unless we vote solidly for the word to remain, the proposal will be defeated by an unholy alliance.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: Like some of the unholy alliances we had last night!

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he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: Every alliance which aims at not having a straight vote on a st raight issue is, to my mind, an unholy one. The Premier of Victoria expressed a desire to destroy the proposal by any means whatever, and he has taken this means of doing it. Let that be understood. It is of no use quibbling about words now. There are those who are in favour of the proposal against the would-be wreckers. With that made clear, we might all vote now in favour of the proposal for the retention of three-fifths.

The Hon. A. DEAKIN (Victoria)[2.55]: I rise for the purpose of asking the hon. gentleman who has just resumed his seat to qualify his remarks, because, although I shall be found voting for the omission of the word "three-fifths," for the purpose of inserting the words "a simple majority," it will be by no means with the object of wrecking the hon, gentleman's proposal. In this I differ from the right hon. gentleman, the Premier of Victoria. I, for one, am endeavouring to follow the consistent course of voting for every scheme that is being proposed for the settlement of deadlocks.

An HON. MEMBER: As some others have voted against every scheme!

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he Hon. A. DEAKIN: Exactly; I vote for every scheme. In the different schemes one has pr eferences. As between the two referendums I prefer the national to the dual referendum, but I vote

for both; and in this scheme I prefer a simple majority to a majority of two-thirds, or any larger number. But I look upon the real effective portion of this proposal as not resting on either the referendum or on the joint sitting. If we obtain a simultaneous dissolution, we shall be putting pressure on both chambers to agree without the application of any machinery. We shall prevent the application of that scheme itself, and shall, as I endeavoured to explain at some length yesterday, induce both chambers to settle most of their difficulties in the ordinary constitutional manner. When the test issue is put as to the acceptance or rejection of Mr. Carruthers' proposal, I shall be found voting for it. It is a proposal which has many merits, and, if it were necessary, I should be prepared to defend it. It has less merit than some of the proposals that have been submitted, [start page 973] bu t more than most. I am entirely in its favour, and assure the hon. member that, in voting as I do, it is with the object of assisting him. I hope to take another opportunity of having a word or two to say to my hon. friend, Dr. Cockburn, whose unhappy misinterpretations of American history are a constant source of provocation, peaceful as I am by disposition. The hon. member will persist in trailing the fragments of his recollection of American history to tempt me-

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: The hon. member threw paving-stones at me!

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he Hon. A. DEAKIN: I wish to point out to the hon. member-I do not know how many times I l eave already done so in these various conventions-that the existence of responsible government in this federal constitution, and in these colonies, alters the political position wholly from the position in the United States of America. Party government, as it exists in America, does not and will not exist here. Party government as it exists in Great Britain and in these colonies, will exist here. It will be on the lines of liberal and conservative parties; it cannot be on the lines of republicans and democrats. An executive responsible to the people-responsible to the parliament and to the popular chamber-will necessarily express and be governed by those currents of popular feeling which in America are almost powerless to affect the course of events. There the people only speak every four years; they only speak as a whole at the election of a president, and then they speak only through the party machine. In these colonies they will speak freely and often on the well known lines of division between liberal and conservative.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: Just as we see here, for example!

The Hon. A. DEAKIN: Unless the hon. member changes his course, I shudder to think which side be wil l be found on, when we do divide into liberals and conservatives.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON (South Australia)[3]: The position is a somewhat difficult one. There is a considerable section of the Convention opposed to any solution of deadlocks, and by combining with those who are opposed to various particular solutions they can ensure one after the other the defeat of all, and prevent effect being given to what is undoubtedly the wish of the majority of the Convention that some solution should be arrived at. Now, I am not going to be a party to anything of that sort. I think for our own credit, for the sake of federation, we ought to put the thing before the people in as complete a shape as we possibly can; and under these circumstances I shall be no party to any attempt to mutilate a proposal-which emanates from any section of the Convention. I have tried to carry my own views in the matter. I have been beaten, and I have been fairly beaten, and I treat the verdict of this Convention with respect. I hope at some other time to induce the Convention to reverse its decision; but in the interval I am going to do what I can to put before the people of the country and the adjourned Convention some practical scheme for meeting this question of deadlocks. Under these circumstances, I shall not be found opposing at this stage the amendment of my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers, and I shall not do anything for the purpose of putting it into an impracticable shape. I shall endeavour honestly to improve it, and I think it will be a substantial improvement to provide that at a joint sitting a majority of those present should decide the question. I will vote in that direction for that simple purpose, and without any desire whatever to injure the amendment. If it is carried in that shape, I shall support it. In any case I shall support its going into the bill for the considera- [start page 974] t ion of the adjourned Convention, and, if it remains as it stands, I shall probably then be found recording a similar vote. I will tell hon. members why I am adopting this

course. This joint sitting is intended for the solution of a difficulty between the senate and the house of representatives. If you put it as suggested by my hon. friend, Mr. Howe, and require a two-thirds majority, you cannot possibly solve the difficulty in favour of the senate, because you can only have thirty-seven, and that would be a very substantial minority of the house of representatives, and you have to get about forty from the senate to make up the requisite number, and you cannot possibly do that as there are only thirty-six members there.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: What about the majority-take the other side?

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: If on the other side you provide that a majority should dec ide, then not only do you give the house of representatives an opportunity, if they can command a majority at that joint sitting, of carrying their way, but you make a similar result possible as regards the senate. And why should you not? Put it in the way proposed, decide the question by a simple majority, and the result may be that by a majority of the senate and a minority of the house of representatives the view of the senate may be carried. Put it in any other way, and you are simply putting into the hands of the house of representatives a weapon for overruling the wishes of the senate. That I do not wish to do. Therefore, I shall be found voting in the way I have indicated. I think I have fairly enough defined my position, and have, at least, said quite sufficient to assure the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, and those who have listened to me, that I cannot, under any circumstances whatever, be classed as a wrecker, or one who desires to do anything but what is fair and square in connection with this bill.

Question-That the word "three-fifths," proposed to be omitted, stand part of Mr. Carruthers' amendment-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 28; noes, 13; majority, 15.

AYES.

Barton, E. Howe, J.H.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Leake, G.

Briggs, H. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Brunker, J.N. McMillan, W.

Crowder, F.T. Moore, W.

Dobson, H. O'Connor, R.E.

Downer, Sir, J.W. Reid, G.H.

Forrest, Sir J. Solomon, V.L.

Fraser, S. Symon, J.H.

Fysh, Sir P.O Venn, H.W.

Glynn, P.M. Walker, J.T.

Gordon, J.H. Zeal, Sir W.A.

Hackett, J.W.

Henning, A.H. Teller,

Henry, J. Carruthers, J.H.

NOES.

Berry, Sir G. Kingston, C.C.

Clarke, M.J. Peacock, A.J.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Quick, Dr. J.

Deakin, A. Trenwith, W.A.

Grant, C.H. Turner, Sir G.

Holder, F.W Teller,

Isaacs, I.A. Higgins, H.B.

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

The CHAIRMAN: The question will now be-That the amendment of the hon. member. Mr. Carruthers, be added to the amendment of the Right Hon. Sir George Turner, as amended on the m

otion of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise.

Question-That the words proposed to be added be so added-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 29; noes, 12; majority, 17.

AYES.

Barton, E. Howe, J.H.

Berry, Sir G. Kingston, C.C.

Briggs, H. Leake, G.

Brunker, J.N. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Crowder, F.T. Moore, W.

Deakin, A. O'Connor, R.E.

Forrest, Sir J. Quick, Dr. J.

Fraser, S. Reid, G.H.

Fysh, Sir P.O. Solomon, V.L.

Glynn, P.M. Symon, J.H.

Gordon, J.H. Venn, H.W.

Grant, C.H. Walker, J.T.

Hackett, J.W. Zeal, Sir W.A.

Henning, A.H. Teller,

Higgins, H.B. Carruthers, J.H.

[start page 975]

NOES.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Isaacs, I.A.

Clarke, M. J. McMillan, W.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Trenwith, W.A.

Dobson, H. Turner, Sir G.

Downer, Sir J.W.

Henry, J. Teller,

Holder, F.W. Peacock, A.J.

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS (New South Wales)[3.8]: I do not intend to detain the Committee by speaking upon the amendment I intend now to move. All that I desire is that a vote may be taken upon the proposal. I move:

That the following words be added:-"Provided that if the proposed law be rejected it shall be lawful for a majority of those present and voting to pass a resolution paying the governor-general to refer the proposed law to a general vote of the electors of the commonwealth.

Mr. SYMON: I rise to order. I do not think we have yet reached a stage at which the amendment t he hon. member is submitting can be moved. The hon. member is indicating the course he has in view in the event of the conference not coming to a conclusion in regard to the proposed law. But it has not yet been decided whether this proviso is or is not to be inserted. Would it not be very much better that my hon. friend should deal with the proviso which embodies this amendment of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise, and his own?

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: I see reason in the hon. member's argument, and I will not persist with this amendment until the Committee has decided whether the proviso shall or shall not stand.

The CHAIRMAN: The question before the Committee is, that the amendment proposed by the Right Hon. Sir George Turner, as amended by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise, and as added to by the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, be inserted in lieu of the word "if," struck out in the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Lyne. The amendment would then read as follows:-

Provided that in lieu of dissolving the house of representatives alone in the first instance, both houses of parliament may be dissolved simultaneously, provided that the senate shall not be dissolved within a period of six months immediately preceding the date of expiry by effluxion of time of the duration of the house of representatives, and if after such dissolution the proposed law fails to pass with or without amendment, the proposed law may be referred to the members of the two houses

deliberating and voting together thereon, and shall be adopted or rejected according to the decision of three-fifths of the members present and voting on the question.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN (South Australia)[3.17]: I voted for the amendment proposed by the right hon. member, Sir George Turner, as amended by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise, and I still should like to do so; but with this further addition to it, providing for the joint meeting of the two houses, I can no longer do so; and, therefore, very reluctantly, I shall have to vote against the whole thing. I should like to say that the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, much as he protests against unholy alliances, without his knowledge, had the benefit of an unholy alliance, and the last vote has been the means of defeating the proposition of the right hon. member, Sir George Turner, and I hope also his own.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER (Victoria)[3.18]: We certainly are in a, difficulty over this matter, and I am in the position of having to choose between two evils. One evil is the proposal of my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Symon, that we should have a dissolution of the house of representatives followed by a dissolution of the senate. The other evil is the joint meeting of the two houses after a joint dissolution. So between the two there comes a joint dissolution. If I vote to prevent the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, from being added, the [start page 976] result will that I shall assist the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, in another evil.

The Hon. A.J. PEACOCK: That is what it has been done for!

The Right Hon. G.H. REID: Therefore, the right hon. gentleman will have to go straight!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: He has always done so!

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: There is a clever loophole in connection with this, because the m eeting of the two houses is not made compulsory. As the proposal stands, it is only that the proposed law may be referred, and that will rest, I have no doubt, with the government of the day. There is no one else who could take the necessary steps to refer it. The amendment does not say so in express terms, but the proposal, as I followed it when the Chairman read it, is simply that, after a double dissolution, the question may be referred to a meeting of the two houses; therefore, the government of the day would take very good care that they did not refer it unless they were certain beforehand that they had got the numbers. Although I look upon this as a great blot on the bill, I think that the fact that the referring the question will be in the option of the government, takes to a very great extent the sting out of the proposal; and seeing that I have to choose the less of two evils, I am prepared, without binding myself as to what I will do hereafter, either at the adjourned Convention, or when before the people explaining the bill, I am prepared to accept for the time-being what I consider the less of the two evils, and rather than help my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Symon-

Mr. SYMON: I am sorry to hear that!

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: Rather than help my hon. and learned friend, Mr. SYMON, to g et back into a position we have been fighting against four or five days, I intend, with very great reluctance indeed, and somewhat against my own feelings in the matter-and believing that I am doing an injury to federation, but not as great an injury as I would do if I supported my hon. and learned friend, and seeing that this proposal is only tentative, on this occasion I propose to vote with my hon. friend, Mr. Carruthers.

Mr. SYMON (South Australia)[3.19]: I am indebted to my right hon. friend, Sir George Turner, for putting the position so plainly. What we are doing now-and I hope that hon. members will clearly understand it-is this: If we carry this proviso we are affirming the principle of an alternative simultaneous dissolution of both houses, and, therefore, as I am entirely against that course in the event of a dispute between the two houses, I intend to vote against this proviso.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[3.20]: I should like to ask my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Symon, whether in voting against this proposal we vote, as I suppose we shall against the whole of the clause-the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, and everything else.

An HON. MEMBER: Of course you do!

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he Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: All that we have been fighting for the last hour or two g oes by the board. While I am very anxious to vote against the proviso, and also against the amendment proposed by the bell. and learned member, Mr. Wise, I should have been very glad to be able to vote with the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, provided that there should be a successive dissolution beforehand, or even a dissolution of one house: but it seems to me that we have got into a difficulty, therefore, I am bound to follow the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, and vote against the whole of the clause we have been trying to pass. I warned my hon. [start page 977] f riend that if his amendment were to be tacked on to the proposal of the right hon. member, Sir George Turner, this would be the result. I was assured that it would not-that means would be found of separating that amendment from the proviso proposed by the right hon. member, Sir George Turner; but it seems to me that it is not possible to do that, and I am, therefore, very reluctantly compelled to vote against the whole of the clause.

An HON. MEMBER: The proviso?

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: No; the Chairman is going to put the whole clause, I bel ieve.

The CHAIRMAN: I would point out to the right hon. gentleman that the question is to insert the w ords I have just read in lieu of the word "if" in the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Lyne.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: That is all the words including the proviso of the hon. m ember, Mr. Carruthers. I should like my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Symon, to address himself to this point.

Mr. SYMON (South Australia)[3.23]: In answer to my right hon. friend, the position seems to me to be perfectly clear. We have now got the proviso before us completed by the two amendments which have been moved, It was moved originally as a proviso by the right hon. member, Sir George Turner; on that the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise, moved an amendment, and on that the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, has moved and carried an amendment. Now the whole proviso, as Sir Richard Baker has intimated, is to be put, and that proviso embodies the principle of an alternative simultaneous dissolution of the two houses. Those in favour of that will, of course, support the proviso. For my part, I shall oppose it; but the position will be that, if the proviso is rejected, the whole of it, with the two amendments, will-unfortunately as to one of them-fall through.

The Hon. F.W. HOLDER (South Australia)[3.24]: I have been watching a nice little scheme being worked out, and now we see the end of it. but I do not intend to be entrapped. Ever since we passed an amendment yesterday in the direction of a simultaneous dissolution, there has been an effort so to overload that with anything and everything as to make it break down of its own weight; and, if we do not take care, hon. members who desire that will probably succeed now. This is a complicated question, and I ask you, sir, is it not possible under the standing orders for you to divide a complicated question and to put the different issues separately?

The CHAIRMAN: Hon. members must recollect that the Committee has affirmed every one of t hese propositions, having affirmed them in the form of additions to the amendment If hon. members had moved them in different forms, and had allowed one proposal to be carried adding something to the clause before they moved another, it would have been simpler; but it is not for the Chairman to dictate how amendments shall be moved.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[3.26]: It seems to me to be eminently desirable that we should have an opportunity of dealing with these proposals seriatim in the fresh light of the recent vote. I think it is only fair that the Committee should have an opportunity to say whether it will have the consecutive dissolution with the alternative of the double dissolution, and the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, in addition, or whether it will have only one of these dissolutions, adding the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, to it. Unfortunately, the standing orders are in the way of this being done; but there is a way out of the difficulty, slid that is by moving the Chairman out of the chair to obtain the suspension of the standing orders. I think that rather than have a continuance of [start page 978] this complication, a body like this should suspend the standing orders in order to get matters straight.

An. HON. MEMBER: I shall object

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: Before my hon. friend does that, I would point out that we m ay lose the great step which we have already made-the double dissolution.

The CHAIRMAN. May I make a suggestion. We are only now seeking to insert words in lieu of the word. "if" in Mr. Lyne's amendment. If these words are inserted it will be competent for the leader of the Convention to take advantage of, the suspension of the standing orders to rescind the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Symon.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Quite so. We will, deal with; this matter as we ought to deal with it. If we f ind that the proposal consists of three branches, of which we desire only two, leaving out either the consecutive or the double dissolution, I shall move, the Chairman out of the chair in order to put things straight.

Mr. TRENWITH: I should like to point out to the hon. member, Dr. Cockburn, and others who r egret that the proposal, of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, has been added, that it will, be better to accept it than to assist those who, are opposed to any solution of the deadlock. The right hon. member, Sir John Forrest, has intimated his intention of voting against the clause, because there are some provisions in it to which he objects. Hon. members will remember that he voted against making any provision for the solution of deadlocks; therefore, if we play into his hands by voting against the clause we shall assist him in stultifying the, Committee.

Question-That the words, proposed to be inserted in, place of the word "if" in Mr, Lyne's amendment be so inserted-resolved in the affirmative.

The CHAIRMAN: We now have to deal with, the remainder of the amendment proposed by the hon. member, Mr. Lyne, which is inconsistent with the previous decision of the Committee, and, therefore, I propose to strike it out as consequential. The question is, that the amendment which now takes the place of Mr. Lyne's amendment, be, inserted, after the word "senate" (line, 180 page 932).

The Hon. E. BARTON: There are the remaining words of the original amendment suggested, by the Assembly, of New South Wales to be dealt with.!

The CHAIRMAN: We will come to that by-and-by.

Mr. SYMON: What are the words proposed to be inserted?

The CHAIRMAN: It is proposed to insert the following words after the word, "senate" (Mr. Sym on's amendment, line 18, page 932):

Provided that in lieu of dissolving the house of representatives alone in the first instance both houses of parliament may be dissolved, simultaneously: Provided that the senate shall not be

dissolved within a period of six months immediately preceding the date of the expiry by effluxion of time of the duration of the house of representatives. And if after such dissolution the proposed law fails to pass with or without amendment the proposed law may be referred to the members of the two houses deliberating and voting together thereon, and shall be adopted or rejected according to As decision of three-fifths of the members present and voting on the question.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: I understand that the proposal now is the insertion of the com plicated amendments proposed by the right hon. member, Sir George Turner, the hon. and learned member Mr. Wise, and the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers. What does the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, now propose to do? I want to give a vote in accordance with my views, and I think that the Convention ought to be able to devise means for carrying out the wishes of its members.

[start page 979] The Hon. E. BARTON: What I propose is, that, after this matter is dealt with, an opportunity shall be given to hon. members to take such a course as will relieve them of one of the two proposals which precede this-that is to say, to enable them to rescind either the, amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Symon or the amendment of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise, so that the taking of a joint vote of the two houses, in the event of a deadlock, will be something which follows upon either a concurrent dissolution or a joint dissolution, as hon. members choose, but so that there shall not be the alternative of both.

An HON. MEMBER: Why not?

The Hon. E. BARTON: I intend, to give hon. members an opportunity to vote as they wish to v ote, and, without expressing any opinion of my own, I will take such a course as will enable them to do so!

Mr. SYMON: That is not the point of the hon. and learned member, Dr. Cockburn. His point is this: It is not a question of attaching the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, to a consecutive dissolution, or to a simultaneous dissolution, it is a question of attaching his amendment to anything at all. The objection of the hon. and learned member is not to a consecutive or to a simultaneous dissolution, but to the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers.

An HON. MEMBER: That is carried!

Mr. SYMON: Yes. It would be a useless waste of time to open the whole thing again in that f ashion. We might be here for another month. I have not called for a division, and-it is not proposed to call for a division on the question of the proviso. I have stated my objection to it; but, although it is alternative, still, in the view of the majority of hon. members, it is not an undesirable thing that we should have it put, as the Right Hon. Sir George Turner has proposed as an alternative. Seeing that this is all a tentative arrangement, and will be reconsidered and recast hereafter, I am not going to call for a division, although I shall assert my view when the voices are given upon, the insertion of these words.

The Hon. E. BARTON: The Committee has already obtained leave to rescind any amendment that has been carried.

The CHAIRMAN: No; only one amendment.

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he Hon. E. BARTON: That, I think, is the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Symon. Consequently the Committee, without suspending the standing orders, can rescind any portion of that amendment. We cannot do any more than that without suspending the standing orders.

Mr. SYMON: That does not meet the hon. member Dr. Cockburn's difficulty. The Hon. E. BARTON: The hon. member Dr Cockburn's difficulty is that while he may be in favour of one or the other he is not in favour of this.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: I am not in favour of the three things.

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he Hon. E. BARTON: I think he voted against the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers.

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n HON. MEMBER: Yes.

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he Hon. E. BARTON: Well, the instructions to the Committee that leave be given to reconsider and rescind do not apply to the hon. member Mr. Carruthers' proposal, but they do to the amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Symon. Therefore, unless we move the Chairman out of chair, and get further instructions, we can only rescind the hon. member Mr. Symon's amendment.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: I think we had better do that; it is too serious a matter for any vote t o be recorded which is not in accordance with the views of hon. members. I think that somehow or other we, should devise; means to give effect to our wishes. However, I do not wish to stand [start page 980] out in, this matter. I only wish to say that I thoroughly disapprove of the addition proposed by the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers.

The CHAIRMAN: I think the hon. member ought not to argue that question now.

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he Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: I only want to say that I supported the hon. member Mr. Symon, in hi s proposal for a successive dissolution. I also supported the hon. member Mr. Wise's proposal that there should be an alternative of a simultaneous dissolution, so long as it is not exercised so as to always penalise the senate and never penalise the house of representatives. I want to vote for these two things; but I am put in such a position that I have no opportunity of doing so. I should like to have such an opportunity. But, as it is understood that all our work now is simply preparatory and tentative, although I object to anything I do not approve of getting a prescriptive right of existence, still I suppose there is now no alternative.

Question-That the words proposed to be inserted in paragraph A, after the word "senate," be so inserted-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 23; noes, 13; majority, 10.

AYES.

Barton, E. Howe, J.H.

Berry, Sir G. Kingston, C.C.

Brunker, J.N. O'Connor, R.E.

Carruthers, J.H. Peacock, A.J.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Quick, Dr. J.

Deakin, A. Reid, G.H.

Fysh, Sir P.O. Solomon, V.L.

Glynn, P.M. Trenwith, W.A.

Gordon, J.H. Turner, Sir G.

Hackett, J.W. Walker, J.T.

Higgins, H.B. Teller,

Holder, F.W. Isaacs, I.A.

NOES.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Leake, G.

Briggs, H. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Clarke, M.J. McMillan, W.

Crowder, F.T. Moore, W.

Dobson, H. Zeal, Sir W.A.

Forrest, Sir J. Teller,

Grant, C. H. Downer, Sir J.W.

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS (New South Wales)[3.44]: I beg to move the addition of the following proviso, and I only desire to have a division of the Committee upon it:

Provided that if the proposed law be rejected it shall be lawful for the majority of those present and voting to pass a resolution praying the governor-general to refer the proposed law to a general vote of the electors of the commonwealth, and upon such resolution being presented to the governor-general he may direct that such general vote of the electors be taken.

If that be carried I shall subsequently move that the minority shall also have the right to claim a general referendum to veto the proposed law.

Mr. SOLOMON: What generosity!

Q

uestion-That the words proposed to be added be so added-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 13; noes, 27; majority, 14.

AYES.

Berry, Sir G. Peacock, A.J.

Brunker, J.N. Quick, Dr. J.

Deakin, A. Reid, G.H.

Higgins, H.B. Trenwith, W.A.

Holder, F.W. Turner, Sir G.

Isaacs, I.A. Teller,

O'Connor, R.E. Carruthers, J.H.

NOES.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Henning, A.H.

Briggs, H. Howe, J.H.

Clarke, M.J. Kingston, C.C.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Leaks, G.

Crowder, F.T. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Dobson, H. McMillan, W.

Downer, Sir J.W. Moore, W.

Forrest, Sir J. Solomon, V.L.

Fraser, S. Symon, J.R.

Fysh, Sir P.O. Venn, H.W.

Glynn, P.M. Walker, J.T.

Gordon, J.H. Zeal, Sir W.A.

Grant, C.H. Teller,

Hackett, J.W. Barton, E.

Question so resolved in the negative.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I move:

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hat the remaining words of the proposed new clause 57A be struck out.

Amendment agreed to.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[3.49]: Now the question arises as [start page 981] to the procedure of the Committee in dealing with the proposals which are antecedent to the one just adopted. I understand that it is the wish of a number of hon. members to have an opportunity to reconsider those portions in the light of the decision they have come to with reference to a joint vote of the houses.

HON. MEMBERS: Let it go!

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n HON. MEMBER: We will consider it in Melbourne!

The Hon. E: BARTON: Let it be understood that I am only endeavouring to arrive at the general sense of this body. I am perfectly willing to let things stand as they are, at any rate, until our next meeting, which I hope will be in January. As the mouthpiece of hon. members, I should feel myself

bound, if I saw that there was a general desire to reconsider these matters at the present stage, to take the necessary steps to bring that into order.

Mr. MCMILLAN: Unless you have another scheme!

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he Hon. E. BARTON: As I do not find that the desire expressed is a general one, I am only too happy to be relieved of that duty.

New clause, as amended, agreed to.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[3.53]: I would like to point out to hon. members that time is becoming very precious just now, and that our right hon. friend, Sir George Turner, may have to go away to-night. With regard to a question like the judicature, on which we are pretty well agreed except as to a difference of opinion as to the degree of restriction on the right of appeal, I scarcely think that in the limited time now left we need take much trouble. I would like to ascertain the opinion of hon. members whether it would not be a more desirable thing to take some discussion on the very important question of finance and trade. We know that this matter was considered so important by the right hon. member, Sir George Turner, and others, that, although we appointed a select committee to deal with finance, it nevertheless was thought desirable that we should have a discussion on it, and that discussion took two or three days, and the object of it was not only to evolve the views of hon. members but to let that evolution sink into the minds and hearts of the members of the Finance Committee, who were then, of course, expected diligently to turn over all that had been said to them, and embody all these proposals in some clause. Unfortunately, the arduous nature of the duties of the Convention in which the members of the Finance Committee have participated has prevented them from holding as many meetings as would have been desirable; and inasmuch as these gentlemen have not found it possible to hold so many meetings as would enable them to put propositions before us

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: I am told that they held two meetings!

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he Hon. E. BARTON: We now come back, to a certain extent, to our own resources. I feel very much inclined to move that the whole of Chapter III which relates to the judicature be postponed in order that we may reach the chapter on finance and trade, because I take it that the Convention itself, in debating this matter for three days in the beginning, and the intense desire expressed by hon. members that this, as one of the most important matters before us, should be dealt with as speedily as possible, ought to find now its consequence in some such step as I have suggested. As a member of the Drafting Committee I have brought before my colleagues the necessity of endeavouring to formulate, in some way, the opinions which were expressed with a great deal of warmth and emphasis during the debate on finance. Hon. members will find in their hands a series of proposals as to which I wish only to say this: that they are not to be taken [start page 982] - they are only marked "suggested amendments "-as the evidence of any desire an the part of the Drafting Committee to set themselves up as authorities on finance. I am afraid if I were to do that in my own person, I should speedily cover myself, with ridicule; but these matters which hon. members will find in print are simply an endeavour of the Drafting Committee to put into the form of legal phraseology what seems to be the subject of of very common expression of opinion amongst hon. members; and we thought we might just as well put them into print, in order that hon. members might see what they looked like as clauses, of the bill. That has been the sole object of the Drafting Committee, and I hope they will be absolved completely from any desire toilet themselves up as financial authorities. Having said that, I suggest that the consideration of Chapter III be postponed.

The Right Hon. G.H. REID (New South Wales)[3.56]: I think it is very well known to the Convention that the Finance Committee was appointed to take these matters into consideration. We met to consider what was best to be done, and we found it impossible to take up this very difficult matter in any systematic fashion whilst these sittings have been held. It was impossible for us to be in the Finance Committee and in this Chamber at the same time. We gave up the attempt, and we came to the conclusion that the following plan of operations would probably lead to the best result:-that the

two members representing each colony should give the matter, at the adjournment of the Convention, their best consideration jointly; that each set of two should exchange views with the other members of the committee; and that we should then meet in Melbourne, or at some convenient spot, before the Convention reassembled, and hit upon a scheme, in the light of all our suggestions, which would be in the hands of hon.

members some time before the Convention actually reassembled. That is our desire. I would ask, however, whether my right hon. friend is going to Melbourne to-night? Is there any indefiniteness about it?

The Right Hon, Sir G. TURNER: None!

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he Right Hon. G.H. REID: Then I would suggest to the hon. member, Mr. Barton, whether it w ould not add to a sense of incompleteness if we, with an hour to spare, began this subject. No, possible good could be derived from it. One speech only could be heard. We should, indeed, leave a sense of incompleteness if we attempted to deal with a subject of this kind within an hour of the adjournment of the Convention. I would suggest that it would be much better to leave the matter in the hands o

f the committee. Of course we should all be very glad if we could get on to some extent with the matter, but until the committee report on the clauses in the bill it is perfectly clear that a general discussion will be more or less idle. We have had a general discussion, and the committee have had the benefit of it, and no doubt it will work on the lines suggested by that discussion, but any further general discussion within an hour of separation would, I submit, be futile. I suggest that we should not attempt to begin again until we have some opportunity of beginning and finishing.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales) (3.59]: I quite appreciate the suggestion which has been made; but I do not want to rush the Committee into the consideration of anything which it will not have time to finish. I must express a little difference of opinion from that expressed by the Premier of New South Wales as to our being within an hour of the adjournment of the sittings of the Convention, because I see no reason why the Convention should not go on with its work. The Premier of Victoria is leaving; but I am quite sure be has confidence in his col- [start page 983] l eagues whom he leaves behind, and that it would he an almost unheard-of thing if we were to say that, because one of our most respected delegates, and one of those whose opinions we most esteem, goes away, we should on that account suspend work. I am sure all the admiration I feel for the Premier of Victoria would not justify me in taking that course, and I do not think he would expect it. I am going to ask the Convention to sit until to-morrow evening to deal with so many matters in the bill as are now left unsettled. When I made a suggestion just now with regard to the question of finance, I did not mean for an instant that I was even going to propose those clauses which have been committed to print. They are not my clauses; they are only a matter of drafting; but I am quite willing to accede to the suggestion, if it is the wish of the Convention, to go on with business other than finance. I hope hon. members will support me in sitting to-morrow.

An HON. MEMBER: And to-night?

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he Hon. E. BARTON: And to-night. I will ask hon. members to get as far as they possibly can t o solve the financial question in the time at our disposal. I think an attempt to complete it, as has been rightly put by the Premier of New South Wales, would not be creditable to the Convention. I think, however, there is ground, which we have already travelled over, which we can deal with between now and to-morrow evening, and I suggest to hon. members that they follow me in taking that course. Then we could adjourn from to-morrow evening until Friday afternoon. In the meantime, the Drafting Committee, with the help of any legal members who would kindly assist them, would take in hand the numerous amendments which have been made during the present sittings of the Convention, so as to put them in their proper order, and in legal phraseology in the bill. Then I would ask hon. members to meet on Friday afternoon for an hour-it would only be a matter of an hour-to deal with mere formalities, after which the Convention would be adjourned to such place as it will sit in, I hope, in January.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: What about the alternative clauses?

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he Hon. E. BARTON: We shall simply put them in the best drafting phraseology we can, and treat them as the decision of the Convention so far. I hope hon. members will follow we in the suggestion I have made. Under these circumstances, I do not propose to go on with the discussion on finance. The clauses which have been referred to have been circulated and that, I think, is enough for present purposes.

The Hon. F.W. HOLDER: When shall we decide when we shall meet again?

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he Hon. E BARTON: I do not see why we should not decide that to-morrow afternoon.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: Or before the Premier of Victoria goes away!

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he Hon. E. BARTON: Hon. members will see that that is not a question we can decide in C ommittee. I see no objection, however, to the House resuming now and discussing that question, and then we can adjourn until the evening sitting.

Mr. SYMON (South Australia)[4.4]: I would suggest that there is a considerable portion of Part II, relating to the senate, which we might complete. It is awkward to have these disjointed portions of the bill dealt with. We might deal with that and also with the provisions applicable to both houses and the powers of the parliament. I particularly refer to the powers of the parliament, because I understand that some of my colleagues, as we all do, take strong views on one or two points which have been elucidated during the present session, although not finally concluded. It would be well if we could [start page 984] have the assistance of our friends from Victoria, certainly on one of those matters-for example, that relating to the navigability of the river Murray.

The CHAIRMAN: The Committee have already postponed those clauses until after the consideration of the other clauses. We cannot go back; we must go forward. Do I understand the leader of the Convention to move that Part III be postponed?

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.5]: That has not been done yet. I propose to report progress in order that the matter of the adjourned meeting be dealt with before the Premier of Victoria leaves. I think the best plan would be to move that the Chairman leave the chair, and ask leave to sit again at a later period of the day. I understand-and my right hon. friend, Sir George Turner, will correct me if I am wrong-that it would be a desirable thing, with reference to the exigencies of the various governments, that there should be some quiet conversation between the various Premiers before we decide the question as to where and when we are to sit. I take it that my right hon. friend, Sir George Turner, before he goes, would like to exchange views with the other Premiers who are present. If that is so, I would move that the Chairman leave the chair for a quarter of an hour, and then the House, can resume, and we can deal with the question.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER (Victoria)[4.6]: I do not know that there is any necessity for the course the hon. member has suggested. Unless my right hon. friends desire it, I do not desire it. There seems to be a general wish among members that the next meeting of the Convention should be held in Melbourne.

The Right Hon. G.H. REID: Hear, hear!

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: And, although I would not stand in the

w

ay of any other colony having the honor, as I did not stand in the way of New South Wales having the honor on this occasion, of course, if it is the general desire, I would not attempt to oppose

the wish of the Convention. In regard to meeting in January, I think that would be a very bad time. If we are to meet in Melbourne, I think we should meet in March.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I should have very great difficulty in attending!

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER Most of us will be busy in our parliaments until the latter end of December; besides, in January we shall have very trying weather.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Not as bad as February!

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: That would prevent us from getting on with our work as r apidly as we might desire; and, if the meeting were postponed until March, I think it would be found advantageous. However, if that would not be convenient to my hon. and learned friend, I should be prepared to agree that the Convention should meet some time towards the latter end of January.

The Hon. E. BARTON: It would be far better to fix a time concurrent with most of the par liamentary vacations-say, about the middle of January.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: I will not stand in the way of the hon. and learned member's suggestion if it is deemed most convenient!

The Hon. E. BARTON: After what the Right Hon. Sir George Turner has said, I do not think it is nec essary to have any suspension of the sitting to give the various Premiers an opportunity of discussion, and I shall simply move:

That the Chairman leave the chair, report progress, and ask leave to sit again at a later hour of the day.

Motion agreed to; progress reported.

[start page 985] NEXT MEETING OF THE CONVENTION.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.9]: What does my right hon. friend say to meeting on the 18th January? That will be Tuesday. It will enable the delegates from New South Wales and from South Australia to leave on the Monday, if necessary, so that they will save a day.

Mr. WALKER: We must remember that we expect the colony of Queensland to be represented, and t hat the Premier of that colony will not be back until the 4th October, and it may take some time to get the necessary bill through parliament.

The Hon. E. BARTON: It will not take four months.

Mr

. SYMON: In South Australia it took four hours!

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he Hon. E. BARTON: It is a question between the 18th and the 25th January, and I think the l8th would be the better date.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: I do not object if that is the wish of the majority; but, personally, I should prefer some time in March.

Motion (by the Hon, E. BARTON) agreed to:

That the standing orders be suspended to enable a motion to be made without notice.

The Hon. E. BARTON: It has been suggested that as there will have to be a short sitting on Fri day, the motion had better be made in this form:

That this Convention, at its rising on Friday next, stand adjourned until 12 o'clock, noon, on Tuesday, the 18th January, and that the Convention do then meet in Parliament House, Melbourne.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: The delegates from Western Australia cannot get, there conv eniently on the Tuesday!

The Hon. E. BARTON: Well, say Thursday, the 20th January. Before the motion is put, I must point out that there must necessarily be a quorum here on Friday, or else the consequences will not be very pleasant. If there happens not to be a quorum, the Convention must stand adjourned from day to day.

An HON. MEMBER: If we pass this motion?

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he Hon. E. BARTON: The question would even then arise under the standing orders whether the Convention would not have to be adjourned from day to day; so that I impress upon hon. members that if I place Friday in the present motion, it must be on the understanding that we form a quorum on that day. A meeting on Friday will, I assure hon. members, be necessary, because nobody wishes to see the bill left with amendments which have been put in more homely phraseology than is appropriate in a statute. Therefore, the Drafting Committee will require to have a spare day, say, Thursday, to bring matters into ordinary form, and then we shall ask the Convention to pass the bill through Committee in the ordinary way. I propose that the Convention should sit tomorrow, but not on Thursday. I beg to move the motion, in its amended form, as follows:-

That this Convention, at its rising on Friday next, stand adjourned until 12 o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the 20th January, and that the sittings of the Convention be then held in Parliament House, Melbourne.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[4.15]: I cannot help thinking that the leader of the Convention is proposing that we should meet at rather too early a date. It may be a very convenient date for gentlemen of the legal profession, who will then be in their ordinary long vacation; but, for my own part, it would be most inconvenient for me to return to the work of this Convention at so early a date. I have been away from Western Australia nearly the whole of the year, and Christmas will be the very earliest date at which our local Parliament can be expected to conclude its work. If this resolution is [start page 986] adhe red to, we shall have to leave the colony immediately after Parliament has concluded its labours and pass a month or six weeks in Melbourne. I should much prefer to see a date fixed one month later.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: The right hon. gentleman will be in better training in Ja nuary!

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: It is all very well for those who are in Melbourne or in T asmania; but we have to come a long way. It takes us a week to get here, and while we are here we are altogether away from our work.

The Hon. E. BARTON: January is holiday time generally, is it not?

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: I do not think so.

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he Hon. E. BARTON: It is more holiday time than is an other month in the year!

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: As I have pointed out, as soon as our Parliament is over w e shall have to come to Melbourne to this Convention. However, I shall not move any-amendment to the proposal; but if the date were fixed a month later it would be more convenient to many of us.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE (South Australia)[4.17]: I should like to have a word to say with regard to the position of the Western Australian delegates. I should like to be clear as to whether, if we assemble again on the 20th January, that date will be an obstacle to the Western Australian delegates coming to Melbourne.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: I do not think that will be so; we shall have to try and be t here.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA BILL.

In committee:

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.20]: I think our best course of procedure, now that we have settled the matter of our next meeting, will be to take the bill in its regular order, and, as a matter of technical procedure, to enable that to be done it will be necessary to postpone the remaining clauses. That will bring us, I think, to clause 5, and from that point we can go straight on with the remaining clauses of the bill. I therefore move:

That the remaining clauses of the bill and the schedule be postponed.

Motion agreed to.

Clause 5. The term "the states" shall be taken to mean such of the colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia, and the province of South Australia, as for the time being form part of the commonwealth, and such colonies or states as may hereafter be-admitted into or established by the commonwealth, and each of such parts of the commonwealth shall be hereafter designated a "state."

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council of New South Wales:

Add at the end of clause "Original states shall be taken to mean such states as form part of the dominion at the date of its establishment. New states shall be taken to mean such states as may thereafter be admitted into or constituted by the dominion."

Mr. SOLOMON (South Australia)[4.23]: To avoid the possibility of any question arising with reference to the boundary of the province of South Australia-that is, whether it would include, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, the Northern Territory which is provisionally annexed to it-I move:

That there be inserted after the word "Australia," line 5, the words "including the Northern Territory of South Australia,"

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Is that part now technically South Australian territory?

Mr

. SOLOMON: That is rather a difficult question to answer. Under letters patent under her Majesty's hand the Territory is provisionally annexed to South Australia from the 26th parallel of south [start page 987] latitude northward during the pleasure of her Majesty. A question in future might arise whether electors in that portion of the province had a right to a voice in the affairs of the commonwealth-that is to say, whether that portion which is provisionally annexed really was a portion of the province. To avoid any ouch question arising, I move the amendment I have indicated.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (Hon. E. BARTON) agreed to:

That the amendment suggested by the Legislative Council of New South Wales be amended by omitting the words "New states shall be taken to mean such states as may thereafter be admitted into or constituted by the commonwealth."

Amendment of Legislative Council, New South Wales, as amended, agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 (Repeal of 48 and 49 Victoria, Chapter 60) agreed to.

CHAPTER I.-THE PARLIAMENT.

Part I. General.

Clause 6 (Governor-General to fix time and places for holding session of parliament. Power of dissolution of house of representatives. First session of parliament).

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.26]: This clause was postponed pending dealing with clauses about conflicts between the two houses; but nothing has been done by the Committee, I think, to prevent this clause from being passed in its original shape.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 10, paragraph 1. The parliament of the commonwealth may make laws prescribing a uniform manner of choosing the senators. Subject to such laws, if any, the parliament of each state may determine the time, place, and manner of choosing the senators for that state.

Amendment suggested by Legislative Council and Assembly of Tasmania:

Omit "The parliament of the commonwealth may make laws prescribing a uniform manner of choosing the senators. Subject to such laws if any"

Amendment suggested by, Legislative Assembly of Victoria:

After "prescribing" insert "the times, places, and"

The CHAIRMAN: The first amendment suggested in paragraph 1 is by Tasmania -to omit the words "the parliament of the commonwealth may make laws prescribing a uniform manner of choosing the senators. Subject to such laws if any." But, inasmuch as Victoria has suggested the insertion of the words "the times, places, and," after the word "prescribing," I will, in order to enable the amendment suggested by Victoria to be placed before the Committee, put the question to leave out the first line of the paragraph, as a test of the amendment suggested by Tasmania.

Question-That the words proposed to, be left out stand part of the question-resolved in the affirmative.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[4.28]: Clause 10 as it now stands is practically a transcript of the American provision. The reason why the provision was framed that way in the American Constitution, and I think-the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, will no doubt correct me if I am wrong-the reason why it was also framed in that way by the 1891 Convention, was that as the senators

were to be appointed by the state parliaments, the place of choosing them should be as each state parliament might determine, and the time of doing so should be whenever that parliament chose to decide upon.

The Hon. E. BARTON: A little more than that. We thought, I think, in dealing with the matter bef ore, that it was advisable that the parliament of the state should determine the time and place for elections as it would have a better knowledge of local affairs, whereas the parliament of the commonwealth might make laws as to the system on which the elections should take place.

[start page 988] The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: The manner of choosing the senators was as to whether the two houses should sit together or separately, and so on; and the Congress has made laws in that regard on two separate occasions; but we have now provided that there shall be a dissolution of the senate, and I think, especially in regard to that, it will be right, and will harmonise with what we have done, to say that the parliament of each state may determine the time, place, and manner of choosing the senators; but, above all that, the parliament of the commonwealth may make laws prescribing the time and place and manner of choosing. They have power under this to prescribe a uniform manner, so that if the parliament think fit the manner of choosing, whether by ballot or otherwise, may be determined by the federal parliament.

The Hon. E. BARTON: If you make the amendment read "the time and place and a uniform m anner," I will not raise any objection to it. It will then fit in with the remainder of the clause.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Leav e that to the Drafting Committee.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Then, I will accept that.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria agreed to.

Clause 10, paragraph 2. Until such determination, and unless the parliament of the commonwealth otherwise provides, the laws in force in the several states for the time-being, relating to the following matters, namely: The manner of conducting elections for the more numerous house of the parliament of the state, the proceedings at such elections, returning officers, the periods during which elections maybe continued, and offences against the laws regulating such elections shall, as nearly as practicable, apply to elections in the several states of senators.

Amendment suggested by Legislative Council and Assembly of Tasmania:

After "determination" omit "and unless the parliament of the commonwealth otherwise provides."

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.35]: I do not see the reason for leaving out these words. I think they ought to be left in, for otherwise, for all time, unless there happens to be a referendum upon the proposed amendment of the constitution, the parliament of the commonwealth will not have power to provide in respect of these matters, which it may be very necessary to provide for in case of some emergency.

Amendment negatived.

The CHAIRMAN: There is a further amendment suggested by the Legislative Council of Western Australia, to transpose the words of senators, "to stand after the word "elections." This is a mere matter of drafting, and I will make the alteration as a consequent amendment.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.36]: I think it would be advisable to add to the clause the words:

So long as the senators are directly chosen by the people of the state as one electorate.

We inserted in the second paragraph of clause 9 the words "until parliament otherwise determines," and inasmuch as power is given to parliament to alter the system of choosing the senators by the people of the state voting as one electorate, I think it would be wise to add to this clause the words I have suggested.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Is not the clause clear as it stands?

The Hon. E. BARTON: Well, it is a mere matter of drafting. I will not propose any amendment.

Paragraph 2, agreed to.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[4.38]: I should like an explanation from one of the representatives of Tasmania as to why these words were struck out?

The CHAIRMAN: We have dealt with that question; the hon. member cannot go back.

Mr. GLYNN: The position seems to me to be this: that, inasmuch as the parliament of the commonwealth is limited to making provision as to the manner of choosing the senators, and the fixing of the time and place remains with the state parliaments-

[start page 989] The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: That has been altered!

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 11 (Failure of a state to choose members not to prevent business) agreed to.

Clause 12 (Issue of writs).

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[4.39]: It has been suggested by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria that this clause be omitted, but the amendment was consequential upon another provision which has been negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 13 (Retirement of members).

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[4.40]: I took objection to the first paragraph of this clause in Adelaide, and I cannot allow it to pass now without protesting against it. I fail to see the reason for sending the senate to the electors in two parts. I cannot see why the principle of municipal elections should be applied to the election of such a body as the senate. The idea is, I believe, to dilute the senate occasionally with public opinion, upon the assumption that it will get a little out of touch with the opinion of the constituencies; but I think that a far better expedient would be to dissolve the whole body. You are not going to bring the senate into touch with public opinion merely by sending half its members back to the constituencies. I think the proper thing would be to send all the senators back at once. If the clause is passed as it stands, half of the members of the senate will be more in touch with public opinion than the other half, and that I think is not desirable.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[4.41]: I would like to suggest to the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, that this would be a good place, when he comes to consider the drafting of the bill, to provide for rotation in connection with the dissolution of the senate.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Yes.

The CHAIRMAN: The Legislative Assembly of New South Wales and the Legislative Council of Tasmania have proposed the omission of the second paragraph of the clause.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 14. If the place of a senator becomes vacant before the expiration of his term of service the houses of parliament of the state he represented shall, sitting and voting together, choose a person to fill the vacancy until the expiration of the term or until the election of a successor as hereinafter provided whichever first happens. And if the houses of parliament of the state are in recess at the time when the vacancy occurs the governor of the state, with the advice of the executive council thereof, may appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the beginning of the next session of the parliament of the state or until the election of a successor, whichever first happens.

The CHAIRMAN: It has been suggested by the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Tasmania that after the word "until" line 13, the words "the expiration of fourteen days after" should be inserted.

Mr. GLYNN: The objection to this amendment is that you leave it to a member of parliament, whose place is to be filled up, to help in determining who is to be his successor. A member appointed during the recess would be sitting for fourteen days, and he would have a voice in determining who was to succeed him.

The Hon. E. BARTON: That will not help him!

Mr. GLYNN: It is rather inconsistent with parliamentary procedure.

A

mendment suggested by the Parliament of Tasmania agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 15. The qualifications of a senator shall be those of a member of the house of representatives.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council of Victoria:

Add at the end of clause, “with the exception that he must be of the full age of 30 years."

[start page 990] Amendment suggested by the Council and Assembly of Tasmania:

Add at the end of clause "Except that no person shall be senator who shall not have attained the age of 25 years."

The CHAIRMAN: I will put the amendment of the Victorian Council first; then, if the r epresentatives of Tasmania, or any other hon. member, wish to alter that, they can move an amendment.

Question-That the words of the Victorian amendment be added-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 4; noes, 29; majority, 25.

AYES.

Fraser, S.

Solomon, V.L Teller,

Zeal, Sir W.A. Walker, J.T.

NOES.

Barton, E. Higgins, H.B.

Berry, Sir G. Holder, F.W.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Howe, J.H.

Briggs, H. Isaacs, I.A.

Brunker, J.N. James, W.H.

Clarke, M.J. Kingston, C.C.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Leake, G.

Crowder, F.T. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Dobson, H. Lyne, W.J.

Forrest, Sir J. O'Connor, R.E.

Glynn, P.M. Quick, Dr J.

Gordon, J.H. Symon, J.H.

Grant, C.H. Turner, Sir G.

Hackett, J.W. Teller,

Henning, A.H. Peacock, A.J.

Question so resolved in the negative.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: I have no intention of moving any amendment. I do not des ire to see any age fixed for members of the senate.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 16, 17, and 18 agreed to.

Clause 19. The place of a senator shall become vacant if for two consecutive mouths of any session of the parliament he, without the permission of the senate, entered on its journals, fails to attend the senate.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of Tasmania:

After "for," line 2, omit "two consecutive months of." Insert "thirty consecutive sitting days in."

Amendment negatived; clause agreed to.

Clause 20. Upon the happening of a vacancy in the senate, the president, or if there is no president, or if the president is absent from the commonwealth the governor-general shall forthwith notify the same to the governor of the state in the representation of which the vacancy has happened.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[4.55]: I would suggest to the hon. and learned member, Mr Barton, whether it would not be advisable to, provide that a motion shall be carried in the, House declaring that a vacancy has occurred. Under clauses 45 and 46, under certain circumstances-either through a disqualification arising, or from a crime having been committed-the seat is declared to be vacant. Who is to inform the president of the fact?

The Hon. E. BARTON: Clauses 45 and 46 relate to disqualifications!

Mr

. GLYNN: Clause 20 deals with the question of a vacancy having occurred. This vacancy may occ ur under clause 46 by a member having been adjudicated a bankrupt or having been convicted of a felony, and the question is: how is the knowledge of that disqualification having arisen to be brought before the parliament or the president? The usual method, I think, is that the declaration of a vacancy having occurred is made by a motion in the house itself. Clause 49 provides that, on a vacancy happening, if the person declared to be incapable of sitting does sit, he is liable to a certain penalty; but it does not go to the length of saying that if a vacancy occurs the penalty is to be inflicted. We may be in this position that a man by having been adjudicated a bankrupt or convicted of a felony, his seat may be vacated, but the penalty for taking his seat would not be imposed upon him, and the knowledge of the vacancy having occurred is left to haphazard.

The Hon I.A. ISAACS: Suppose parliament does not sit for some months!

Mr

. GLYNN: There is no harm in allowing the seat to be vacant if parliament is not sitting.

[start page 991] The Hon. E. BARTON: This clause provides for the communication of a vacancy to the governor of the state in case of it occurring!

Mr. GLYNN: What I suggest is that an addition be made, that on a vacancy happening a resolution ought to be passed in the, parliament declaring that fact, because otherwise the president will not know whether the seat is or is not vacated. He cannot know whether a man has been adjudicated a bankrupt or whether he has been convicted of a felony.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[4.59]: The Gazette tells him that, and the practice, no doubt, will be precisely the same as obtains in all the legislatures at present. On the happening of the insolvency of a member, a communication is made by the registrar or judge in bankruptcy to the Speaker or President, telling him of the vacancy.

Mr. GLYNN: In most places a resolution is carried!

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: The coming candidate will look after that!

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lause agreed to.

Clause 21. Until the parliament otherwise provides, any question respecting the qualification of a senator, or a vacancy in the Senate, shall be determined by the senate.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, Tasmania:

Line 3, after "senate" insert "or any question of a disputed election relating to the senate,"

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[5]: This suggestion raises the question that hon. members seemed to have a strong opinion about in Adelaide-that is to say, whether a disputed election shall be determined, by the federal court or a court exercising federal jurisdiction. It is simply a question whether hon. members have changed their minds since then. This clause has relation to clause 50, which provides that:

Until the parliament otherwise provides, all questions of disputed elections arising in the senate or the house of representatives shall be determined by a federal court or a court exercising federal jurisdiction.

As my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Higgins, has pointed out, clause 50 does not provide for that period during which a vacancy, may take place before the federal parliament has an opportunity to legislate on the subject, and the question is really whether it is worth while to provide for the period during which the possibility may occur. I do not know whether it ought to be provided for, perhaps it ought; but I think that may be left in the hands of the Drafting Committee, and be dealt with on recommittal. I will take a note of it.

Amendment, negatived; clause agreed to.

Clause 22. The presence of at least one-third of the whole number of senators shall be necessary to constitute a meeting of the senate for the exercise of its powers

Mr. HIGGINS, (Victoria)[5-2]: This clause fixes the quorum, of the senate at one-third. I admit that one-third is a reasonable number when there, are only thirty or thirty-six senators; but suppose the number of the senators is increased, one-third may be too many, if the states are split up. Suppose, for instance, there are sixty senators, I think, twenty are too many to require for the purpose of making a quorum.

An HON. MEMBER: No!

Mr

. HIGGINS: I can only speak from my experience in our House. The quorum of our House, cons isting of ninety-five members, is twenty members. I- feel that it would be very inconvenient, in som

e cases if the House were to meet and to be stopped because they could not get more than twenty members together.

The Hon. E. BARTON: The hon. member would not let the senate legislate with less than ten members present?

Mr. HIGGINS: So long as you have only thirty or thirty-six senators, ten or twelve maybe a r easonable number; but [start page 992] I want to insert at the beginning of the clause the words "until the parliament otherwise provides," in order to give parliament the power to alter the quorum if necessary.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I think parliament ought to have power to provide for the case of a quor um. I will accept the amendment.

Amendment (Mr. HIGGINS) agreed to:

That the words "Until the parliament otherwise decides" be inserted at the beginning of the clause.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 23 (Voting in senate) agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN: The next clause to be dealt with is postponed clause 32.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: Before we pass clause 24, I wish to ask the hon. and learned m ember, Mr. Barton, when he proposes to recommit this clause which relates to the constitution of the house of representatives?

The Hon. E. BARTON: As soon as we reach the recommittal stage!

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he Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER:

The Hon. E. BARTON: There will be a recommittal stage at this sitting; but that will only possibly be for drafting. I think it would be better to leave this for the January sitting, because then my right hon. friend will have an opportunity to deal with it.

The Right Hon. Sir G. TURNER: That will suit me better!

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lause 32. A member of the senate shall not be capable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the house of representatives.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Tasmania:

Omit the clause.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[5.4]: I believe my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Lewis, whom I do not see in his place, drew attention to this clause. If I recollect aright, his point was that a member of the house of representatives was not capable of being a member of the senate.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: The suggestion is that the clause be omitted!

T

he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I do not think it ought to be omitted.

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he Hon. E. BARTON: The Tasmanian suggestion is that a man should be a member of both houses of the same parliament!

The Hon. H. DOBSON: It is to omit this clause, because, I think, it should come in a later place!

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he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I think the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, said to my hon. and lea rned friend, Mr. Lewis, that he would put this clause in the portion of the bill relating to both houses.

The Hon. E. BARTON: What is the clause later on with which this clause is connected?

The CHAIRMAN: I would point out that there is nothing in the bill to prevent a man from being chos en against his will.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[5.5]: I would suggest that a man may be chosen, being absent from the colony, without knowing, about it. In his absence some of his friends may elect him.

An HON. MEMBER: There is no harm done!

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: But, according to this clause, be is incapable of being chos en. I think we had better say that be should not be capable of sitting.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: I think the matter is generally dealt with by the electoral law. Therefore, we might as well leave it!

The Hon. C.H. GRANT: I would point out that the clause does not provide that a member of the house of representatives shall not sit as a member of the senate!

The Hon. H. DOBSON (Tasmania)[5.6]: That matter is dealt with by clause 44A. There are two clauses which prevent hon. members from sitting in the states [start page 993] legislatures as well as in the commonwealth parliament. The Attorney-General of Tasmania moved the omission of clause 32, because he thought the matter came under the provisions relating to both houses. I think we had better omit the clause now, and deal with the matter when we come to clause 44A.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I think it would be better to deal with the clause as suggested by the col ony of Tasmania. I will assent to that course.

Clause negatived.

Clause 43. Until the parliament otherwise provides, any question respecting the qualification of a member or a vacancy in the house of representatives shall be determined by the house.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Tasmania negatived:

After "representatives" insert "or any question of a disputed election relating to that house."

Clause agreed to.

Clause 44. Until the parliament otherwise provides, each member, whether of the senate or of the house of representatives, shall receive an allowance for his services of four hundred pounds a year, to be reckoned from the day on which he takes his seat.

Suggested amendment by the Legislative Council of South Australia and the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Tasmania:

Omit "four" insert "three."

The Hon. J.H. GORDON (South Australia)[5.8]: I hope the suggested amendment will not be agreed to. I shall only repeat now, in a few words, the contention I made when the Convention sat in Adelaide: that if the salary is made too low it will result in either men of independent means or men to whom the salary itself is sufficient inducement to leave their colonies becoming members of the federal parliament. Whilst in both these classes we may have able and desirable representatives, I think it would be a mistake that the character of the representatives should be confined, as it will to a large extent be confined if the salary is made too small, to those two classes of the community.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[5.9]: I would suggest that it would not be conducive to obtaining the service of the best men in the parliament of the commonwealth if the salary were made equal to that of members of one of the state parliaments. The salary, for instance, in the Parliament of New South Wales, is £300, and membership does not involve absence from the colony during the session. In the case of most of the colonies, however, after the commonwealth is established, membership will involve absence from home during the whole of the session. Under such circumstances, the competition is relatively less in the case of the commonwealth than in the case of the states.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[5.10]: I think £400 per annum is little enough to pay to representatives who come from distant colonies. I think, however, some distinction should be made.

HON. MEMBERS: No, no!

T

he Hon. S. FRASER: It is done in other countries.

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he Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[5.11]: The salary, if one were absolutely dependent upon it, does not seem very large. At the same time, I do not suppose we expect those who are chosen to be members of the senate and the house of representatives will be altogether dependent on the emoluments they receive as members.

The Hon. S. FRASER: Many may be!

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: I do not think so. It is more an honorarium than a salary; ot herwise we should not find the distinguished persons who now occupy seats in the local legislatures willing to accept positions.

The Hon. E. BARTON: We should either give a man nothing, or make it worth his while to attend!

[start page 994] The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: It seems to me that if the £400 per annum is to be considered as a salary, it is altogether inadequate. If, on the other hand, it is to be considered an honorarium, it is too large. We must not altogether get rid of the idea that there is some patriotism in the people, and that they desire to give their best services to the state without looking at the matter from an £ s. d. point of view. I am afraid that, when we have formed the federal parliament, we shall find that those who have businesses which require their constant attention will not be able to leave them in order to attend. No doubt those who live close to the seat of government will be able to go by train from Melbourne or Sydney to attend to their parliamentary duties, returning now and again to look after their ordinary business; but what about these living in colonies which are far distant? Take the case of Western Australia. How, for instance, will members of the legal profession be able to leave their place of business and take part in the government of the country? They will not be able to do it. Unless they are men of some means, or have no business to attend to, they will not be able to leave their homes-especially will they be unable to take office. Their businesses would be ruined whilst they were a thousand, or a couple of thousand miles away. I hope we shall find that those who are willing to become members of the federal parliament will be persons who are able to devote some time to their duties. For that reason I do not look very much at the amount of the emolument to be given. It is either too little, or it is quite enough. I do not feel inclined to move that it be reduced, or to support its reduction. At the same time I think £300 a year would be quite sufficient. But I take it that the persons who will become members of the senate, or house of representatives will not be persons who are altogether dependent upon this small honorarium. If there are no persons on this continent willing to give up some time without much reward to the service of the state, then I take it we are far from being ready to take upon ourselves the responsibilities of this federal government. If we expect that this small amount of £400 a year will be a sufficient inducement to persons to give their services, and, if they have nothing else but this, I think we shall have very indigent persons as members of both houses of parliament. No one would say that any of the gentlemen I see around me would leave their businesses, and go away to the federal parliament, and that £400 a year would recompense them for the loss they would sustain. That is not thought of for a moment. The actual loss they would sustain, if they had businesses to attend to in their own colony, instead of being represented by £400, would amount to several times more than that. I hope we shall not for a moment think that the persons who are to be members of the senate and house of representatives will be persons who will depend altogether upon the small amount named in this bill. If it were so, all I can say is, the amount seems to me inadequate.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[5.19]: I take it that our great object in electing two houses of parliament as representatives of the people is to see that the people are represented. It is impossible, having regard to the immense area of the continent, that the people can be adequately represented if

the choice is restricted by want of means on the part of would-be representatives, and I think the only doubt in this matter is whether £400 is enough.

The Hon. Sir W.A. ZEAL: That is twice as much as the amount paid in Canada!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: It is perfectly plain that anything less than £400 would be a farce. If there w as a proposal to [start page 995] increase the amount, it might be a matter for Consideration; but we ought not to hesitate to retain at least £400 a year.

Q

uestion-That the word "four" proposed to be omitted stand part of the clause -agreed to.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria:

Omit "on which he takes his seat," insert of his election."

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[5.21]: If we say that the honorarium shall be reckoned from the day on which the member takes his seat, it may be very hard indeed on the members of the house of representatives. The house might not be sitting at the time of an election. Indeed, it might be the case with a member of the senate. A vacancy might occur, a member might be elected, and might have to commence his services and perform all the duties of his position and get none of its emoluments. If we were to adopt the amendment suggested by Victoria, and omit the words "on which he takes his seat," inserting the words "of his election," there would be a difficulty in the case of the senate; because the date of the election of the senators is previous to the 1st of January, so that by omitting these words you might be paying two people at the same time. I would suggest to the Drafting Committee that they should adopt some such words as these "from the day on which his services commence." That would apply in the case of a member of the house of representatives to the day of his election, and in a case of a senator to the date from which his services were actually reckoned.

Mr. SYMON: Does not a senator begin his services on the day of his election?

T

he Hon. I.A. ISAACS: A senator is elected in the year preceding the 1st of January, and his pr edecessor, so to speak, retains his office until the expiration of the year.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[5.23]: I would point out to the hon. and learned member that his suggestion does not go quite far enough. Under clause l3 the services of the first senator, or the senators of the first parliament, commence from the January preceding the date of his election. So that if the suggestion of the hon. and learned member is carried out we shall be paying a man for time be does not serve.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: It is the date on which the law deems his services to have commenced!

Mr

. GLYNN: Does not the hon. and learned member know that under clause 13, in the case of the se nators of the first parliament, instead of their services dating from the January succeeding the election, they date from the January preceding the election; so that if you say that the payment shall date from the commencement of their services, in such general terms, you will be paving the first senators for time they never served. I would suggest that the clause should be amended in this way:

That after the words "on which he takes his seat" we should add the words "in the case of a senator, the commencement of his services."

That would be the January succeeding the date of his election, and I think also the date when the term of office of the old senator would expire, so that there would be no overlapping. Then I should add the words "and in the case of a member of the house of representatives, from the day of his el

ection." In the case of the first election of the senate the allowance should be reckoned from the date of the election. That would be right as regards the first senators, because the date of their election

would also be the date on which their real services commenced, though theoretically the date of their services would be from the January preceding.

[start page 996] The CHAIRMAN: There are some new clauses proposed by South Australia and Tasmania to follow clause 44, and I shall first put clause 44 to the Committee.

Clause 44 agreed to.

New clause to follow clause 44 suggested by the Legislative Council of South Australia:

No member of the senate or house of representatives whilst in receipt, out of the general revenue, of any official Wary or annual sum shall be entitled to receive any such payment as aforesaid, except in so far as such payment may exceed the amount of such official salary or annual sum.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I would suggest that we should not pass this proposed new clause. It is a m ere matter of legislation for the commonwealth to consider.

Mr. SYMON (South Australia)[5.25]: I think it would be very undesirable to agree to this proposal. It is very unlikely that any minister would refuse to deduct from his official salary the salary he receives as a member of the house of representatives. Besides that, if any provision of the kind be necessary, it will be competent for the federal parliament to pass it. There is no need to put the provision in this constitution.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[5.26]: What I want to know is whether it will be competent for a minister to receive a salary as a member of the house of representatives in addition to the emolument attached to his ministerial office? I should say that he ought not to receive the two remunerations, and that is in accord with our present practice.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[5.27]: This is not a matter to be provided against in the constitution. We may rely upon the parliaments of the different colonies to provide against the receipt of the two salaries by their members while members of the commonwealth parliament, and the parliament of the commonwealth will make a similar provision in regard to its own officers.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: But this provision does not refer to states!

T

he Hon. E. BARTON: It maybe the case in a state or in the commonwealth. In any, case there is a c ompetent authority to make the provision, and there is no need to put it in the constitution.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: All that I desired to emphasise was my opposition to a m ember receiving the salary of a minister and at the same time the salary of a member of the commonwealth parliament.

Mr. HIGGINS (Victoria)[5.29]: If the words "until the parliament otherwise provides" are used it will permit each member to receive a salary of £400 a year, and the commonwealth would then be able to provide that members are not to receive that salary in addition to an official salary.

New clause negatived.

New clause proposed by the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of Tasmania:

44A. A member of a house of the parliament of a state shall be incapable of sitting in either house of the parliament of the commonwealth.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON (Tasmania)[5.30]: We had a long discussion upon this question in Adelaide, and it was decided without division that members of the various states parliaments should be eligible to be elected members of the commonwealth parliament. Surely that is a just and proper course to take. Why should the electors be debarred in their choice of representatives from choosing members of the local parliaments if those members be disposed to undertake the responsibility and toil of representing them alike in the commonwealth parliament and in the state parliament? Beyond that, there are many reasons why this course should be taken. The effect of the clause would be to very seriously restrict the choice of representatives.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[5.31]: Although I do not wish [start page 997] t o make this proposal the subject of a long discussion, I may say that I have always been of opinion that some such provision should be in our constitution. Of course there are reasons to be urged both ways. But I take it that the very fact that a member of parliament, both of the state and of the commonwealth, would have a divided interest, is a strong reason against his being a member of both parliaments. "No man can serve two masters; either he will love the one and hate the other," and so on. I believe that there is likely to be, on the part of a member of both the local and commonwealth parliaments, either too strong an adherence to the interests of the state to the neglect of his duty to and the interests of the commonwealth, or, on the other hand, such a strong adherence to the interests of the commonwealth as would prejudice the state of which he is a member. It is all very well for the hon. member opposite to shake his head as if that were a very doubtful proposition. It may be; but I think it is rather a strong one. I think it is extremely likely that you will have that conflict of interest arising. I do not know of any body of laws in which provision is made for a man to be allowed to hold two positions in regard to which the course of duty of one office would be incompatible with the course of his duty in the other.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: There are a good many novel provisions in this bill!

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he Hon. E. BARTON: Because it is a new constitution. But there is no need to insert novelties w hich are a negation of the course usually followed in these matters. Take a member of the state parliament who is in the ministry, and who is also a member of the commonwealth parliament. Suppose he accepts an invitation to become a minister of the commonwealth. Could there be a more incompatible position?

An HON. MEMBER: He could not give the necessary time to the two offices!

The Hon. E. BARTON: There are plenty of men who would work twenty-four hours to get two salaries, or who would draw two salaries and do work for one.

An HON. MEMBER: He cannot be in two places at one and the same time!

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he Hon. E. BARTON: He can, to this extent. The result of a provision of this kind is almost ce rtain to be this: that the parliament of the commonwealth will not sit at the same time as do the parliaments of the states. That will afford an opportunity to hon. members to trot off from one parliament to the other, from one ministerial office to the other, and to draw both salaries. If there has been one thing more than another which has excited a good deal of opposition among those I have heard discussing this matter, it has been the opportunity afforded to persons who belong to both parliaments to draw two salaries. I have heard that denounced as gross bribery and corruption. I do not agree with that proposition. I think it is a wrongful and insulting way in which to view the matter, as it is also an imputation, to some extent, against the Convention. But I mention it to show that there is a strong feeling upon the subject. I believe we shall not be doing any good by multiplying opportunities of this kind. It is all very well to say that every man whom the people elect is a patriot. All of us have direful experience to the contrary, and I think we had better act on that experience.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON (South Australia)[5.34]: I think this is rather a strange proposition to submit to this Convention, seeing that nine-tenths of its members are members of local

parliaments. It amounts to a statement that provincial patriotism is inconsistent with national patriotism, that loyalty to [start page 998] the state, and loyalty to the nation, cannot be expected from the same individual; that, in point of fact, we are creating a body that will be in a state of constant opposition to the various state parliaments. I say that nothing of the sort is the case. I would not be a party to the creation of such a thing. I should rather think that we were calling into existence a body which may be expected to do good work in the interests of both the nation and the provinces. Otherwise I would not support it. What is the position? We can form some idea upon the subject from hon. members who have been returned to this Convention to-day. But there is no doubt that in the natural order of things you will have great difficulty in securing representatives to attend the sittings of the federal parliament in another colony if, by a constitutional provision on the subject, you permanently exclude all your local politicians who have served you well from being in the federal parliament. We should not do anything of that sort?

Mr. HIGGINS: We want men of experience in the federal parliament in the first instance!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: We want men of experience there at all times. We want men w ho have served the state in the smaller arena, and that they should be able to continue their services there as long as their doing so is consistent with the public interest, and at the same time we want to utilise their services in the higher sphere. Why should we declare that the two things are utterly inconsistent? I do not believe they are. I believe that in the greatest matter of all with which provincial politicians have had to deal in this Convention, there has been a proper loyalty exhibited both to the state and to the nation-loyalty which, is strong now, and will be strong at all times. I should be very sorry to think the reverse were the case. Leave the matter to the parliament of the commonwealth if you like-leave it to the electors of the commonwealth, or the electors of the states. If they think that the two offices cannot be properly held by one individual at the same time, they will have the power to say so, and deal with the question when it arises; but to lay down within the four corners of this constitution, as if we were the people, and wisdom would die with us that no man who has the confidence of a provincial constituency, and is returned as a member of the local parliament, shall have liberty, even if the federal electors so desire, to serve the federation in the parliament of the commonwealth, seems to me to be a, monstrous proposition. Let us leave the matter to those who can decide it from time to time by their votes as they deem fit. Let us not, local politicians as we all are, in framing a federal constitution, do anything which might be suggested as an affirmation of the monstrous proposition that loyalty to any state of the federation, and loyalty to the Australian nation, are inconsistent things which cannot be expected from the same individual.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[5.37]: I think there are other reasons why I agree with the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston. We are handicapping the bill with a great many drawbacks, and if we stipulate in the bill that no present or future representative in the local parliament shall be eligible for a seat in the commonwealth parliament we shall handicap the bill with still further difficulties.

An HON. MEMBER: Very great difficulties!

The Hon. S. FRASER: Very great difficulties. More especially in the first parliament would it be necessary to have men of experience; and men who are held in high esteem by the constituencies should be eligible for seats in it.

Mr. SYMON: They would be eligible. This provision would not prevent their [start page 999] being elected; it merely says that if elected they shall not hold the two offices!

The Hon. S. FRASER: Men holding certainties are not likely to give up those certainties.

Mr. SYMON: They are not asked to give them up until the other is made a certainty!

The Hon. S. FRASER: That removes part of my objection certainly.

The Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR: They are not to come under this provision until they have been elected and have a right to sit in the federal parliament!

The Hon. S. FRASER: They will be capable of being elected whilst holding the other position.

Mr. SYMON: Certainly!

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he Hon. S. FRASER: I agree with the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston. I do not think that the com monwealth interests and the state interests will clash. I see no reason why they should, and the federal parliament can deal with this matter if it is found to be a drawback.

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN (South Australia)[5.39]: Clauses similar to these were first embodied in the bill of 1891. I have always thought it was a great pity that they were struck out. I do not think that we need talk about duties clashing; but we all admit that in a federation there is a balance of power between the central authority and the local authority, and I do not think that any man should be in both pans of the scales at the same time. But, quite apart from that question, as a matter of convenience I think it is most objectionable that a member of the local legislature should also be a member of the federal parliament. We do not want to degrade the local legislatures more than we can help. We do not want their convenience to depend on the federal parliament; but that is bound to be the result if we allow a member to occupy the dual position.

The Hon. S. FRASER: The local parliaments would be mere shire councils then!

The Hon. Dr. COCKBURN: They would be bound to become so. A man elected to the federal par liament would be a prominent politician in his own state, and will have influence in his own parliament, and yet if members occupy dual positions the sittings of the local parliament will have to be made to depend on the meetings of the commonwealth parliament, and the local parliament will have to be adjourned because Mr. so and so has to go to Sydney, Melbourne, or elsewhere to attend the meetings of the commonwealth parliament. You will degrade the position of the local parliaments altogether. Do we not see the inconvenience here of members of this Convention having parliamentary duties to attend to in their own provinces? Do we not see that we have to get through our work by a certain time, because hon. members here are also members of the local legislatures, and the work must be got through or not done at all by a certain time in order to allow them to attend to those other duties? I say that the position, viewed from either side, is intolerable. The commonwealth parliament and the state parliaments must be distinct as far as their personnel is concerned, otherwise we shall constantly have the commonwealth parliament asked to adjourn in order that the members of the local parliament may go and attend to their duties in the local parliament, or, what would be just as bad, we shall have the local parliaments asked to adjourn their business in order that members there may go and attend the sittings of the commonwealth parliament.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON (South Australia)[5.41]: There is another reason that weighs against this pluralism-that is, that members of the federal parliament who were eminent in their local parliaments would be governed in the federal parliament, I am afraid, to a large extent by [start page 1000] pa rty interests-not by consideration for the interests of the whole country, but by consideration for the interests of the party with which they were associated in the local parliament. If I may judge from public movements, I am not sure that we have not seen something in that direction in this Convention. If any members of the federal parliament were tied by the strings of local politics, that would be a distinct disadvantage to the federal parliament.

The Hon. H. DOBSON (Tasmania)[5.42]: My reason for urging the adoption of the amendment of the Tasmanian Parliament, which is simply a transcript of the provision of the 1891 bill, is that, as I submit in all humility, it is impossible for any politician, I do not care who, to do his duty to the electors both in the state parliament and in the federal parliament. I would not allow him to act in the two capacities. My short experience of political life has taught me that he could not by any possibility do his duty.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Is this the place to determine that for all time?

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he Hon. H. DOBSON: I think it is. I am sure that the hon. member, Mr. Higgins, intends to rise f or the purpose of pointing out that this is a matter that should be left to the electors. I desire to anticipate the hon. member, and, with every deference, I differ from my right hon. friend Mr. Kingston, and say that this is a matter in which we are in a far better position to judge than any electors would be. The electors-men by the hundreds and thousands-do not know exactly what it is to be a member of parliament; they do not know the work that you have to perform, the thought and reading that you have to undertake, to write your principles or ideas on the statute-book; and if you were to ask them to vote for a popular man for election to both parliaments, they would do it without being in the slightest degree able to judge whether that man's brain or time would enable him to serve the commonwealth and the state also. I know from my own short experience that a man could not do it. You can skim just over the surface of things; you can go to your local parliament and make a speech, and then rush away to the federal parliament and make another great oration; but if you wish to advance legislation, and to take part in the progress of your country, and take up the thousand and one ideas that are worth consideration, and must be dealt with in a statesmanlike manner, with continuity, with perseverance, I say it is absolutely useless to expect you to give your best in both capacities. When the federal parliament first meet they will take months to pass all the bills necessary to bring into force a judicature and other things. They will take months to pass a tariff bill. For one or two years they will have to do everything-the high court will have almost nothing to do-and during that time you will have the very best men from every, local parliament, if you do not pass this clause, leaving his own state to look after itself whilst he is away trying to make his name in the commonwealth parliament. If he succeeds in one parliament, he will absolutely and positively neglect his duty in the other. I again differ from the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, when he says that it will limit the choice of the electors. The idea of an ultra-democrat talking like that! A member of the federal parliament is to be provided with a neat little salary of £400 a year, free passes, and all sorts of privileges, and no doubt one of the nicest clubs in the commonwealth will be the new parliament. Does the right hon. member suppose that the democracy of federated Australia will let this parliament be without men? The men will come, some of them with new ideas-men not content to go in the old ruts; and it [start page 1001] will be a good thing. So far from limiting the choice of the people, it will widen it. The electors will have to go outside for other men. I hope that the Committee will adopt the amendment, which is taken from the bill of 1891.

[The Chairman left the chair at 5.47 p.m. The Committee resumed at 7.30 p.m.]

Mr. HIGGINS (Victoria)[7.33]: The proposed new clause is, in short, a prohibition against anyone who is a member of a state parliament sitting as a member of the commonwealth parliament.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: It does not prevent such a person from being elected!

Mr. HIGGINS: I am not superfining; I am speaking of its substance. I am dealing with the broad ques tion: Ought a man who has a seat in the states parliament to be prohibited from sitting in the commonwealth parliament? The hon. member, Mr. Dobson, has intimated that he knew what I was going to say-that I was going to say, "Leave it to the electors." I was going to say something else. I was going to say, "Leave it to the federal parliament." I think that it will be a great hindrance to the proper working of the federal parliament at its inception if the men who have had most experience in the working of the state parliaments are prohibited from being in the federal parliament.

The Hon. H. DOBSON: They will not be prohibited!

Mr. HIGGINS: The proposal is to prohibit them.

The Hon. H. DOBSON: No; but they must give up their seats in the states parliaments if they des ire to sit in the federal parliament. They must make a choice!

Mr. HIGGINS: They are prohibited from sitting in the local parliaments while they have a seat in the federal parliament. I feel that if you enact that provision as an absolute prohibition, you must face a grave dilemma. You have either to deprive the local parliaments of the men who are their natural leaders, or you have to deprive the federal parliament of the experience of the best qualified men in Australia, the men most acquainted with the working of parliamentary institutions. Are we to inflict the serious dislocation which this would involve upon the local parliaments; are we to deprive them of their best talent, or are we to deprive the federal parliament at its inception, when the greatest difficulties will face the members of the federal parliament, of the men of light and leading who have been used to the affairs of state in the local parliaments? There is also this to be considered: There is no doubt that men used as ministers or members to the affairs of the local parliaments may be hampered in the work of the federal parliament by having to attend the state parliaments. Of course, the first answer is that that is for the electors; still, there is no doubt that there will be injury inflicted upon one or other of the parliaments by a member having to attend to his other duties. Under the circumstances, I would suggest that the best plan is at the inception of this constitution to have no absolute prohibition, but to allow a free hand to the electors; at the same time to allow a free hand to the federal parliament to impose a disqualification upon men becoming members of the commonwealth parliament. I am not at all sure whether it is not competent for the federal parliament under the bill as it stands to impose a disqualification of this sort. Section 15 says the qualifications of a senator are to be those of a member of the house of representatives. Section 31 says "until the parliament otherwise provides the qualification of a member of the house of representatives shall be as follows":-I take it that under these words it would be competent for the federal parliament to make provision for the qualification of a member of the house of repre- [start page 1002] se ntatives to be that he is not a member of one of the state houses. That is a matter for the Drafting Committee. As we have passed section 31, I do not propose an amendment. I simply intimate that, in my opinion it is worth consideration whether, under section 31, it is not competent for the federal parliament to enact that one of the qualifications of a member of either house shall be that he does not hold office in any other colonial parliament. There must be a serious dislocation with regard to the time of the leading men of the state parliament being spent in the parliament of the commonwealth; there must be inconvenience; but that can be got over if it be found that the duties of a member of a state parliament and of the commonwealth parliament are inconsistent, and that both cannot be carried on. I hope that the federal parliament will be empowered to enact that no man who is a member of a state parliament shall hold a seat as member of the commonwealth parliament. I do not want any absolute prohibition. I want to give the electors as free a hand as possible, and experience will tell us which is the best course. I shall vote against the proposed prohibition. Under clause 36 the place of a member of the house of representatives is to be vacant if he be absent two months. That will be a good check upon him, because he will risk the loss of his seat if absent. I hope the broad view will strike the judgment of hon. members, and that they will not tie the hands of the electors so as to prevent the federal commonwealth, at its inception, having the advice and guidance of those who have been used to advise, to guide, and control the local parliaments.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[7.40]: I think that this is a very open question. There are many arguments on both sides as to whether it is advisable to prevent members of state parliaments from being members of the federal parliament.

But I think we should take a wrong course in irrevocably, or practically irrevocably, fixing our ideas in the constitution. I would point out for hon. members' consideration how great the advantage has been to this Convention to have members of state parliaments here, and more particularly-of course, excluding myself, members of governments. If it be ultimately thought improper-and I am not going to express any opinion one way or the other about it-that members of local parliaments shall have seats in the state parliaments, there are three modes of preventing it. The first is that the federal parliament may so enact; the next is that the state parliament may so enact; and the third, and, perhaps, the most effectual mode of prevention, is that the electors themselves may decline to elect a man. As we have these three modes of prevention, why should we fear the future in this respect? Why should we determine beforehand what shall or shall not be done in this respect in the federation? It

may be that the state may consider that its interests will be best served by sending to the senate some of its most experienced parliamentarians; and, as we have heard over and over again that the selection of a senator is essentially a matter of state concern, why should we not leave it to the state, subject to the paramount provision of the federal parliament in that respect, to decide whether it should send as a senator, or as all its senators, the men who have won the confidence of the local electors, and who still retain that confidence? It seems to me to be a matter which can easily be resolved by one or other of these three modes, and I think, therefore, that we should stand by the bill in this respect, and not adopt the proposal which has been made by our friends from the Tasmanian Parliament.

The CHAIRMAN: Before anyone else addresses the Committee, I would suggest [start page 1003] that, perhaps, this may be taken as a test division on several amendments. The Legislative Council of South Australia has suggested substantially the same thing, as hon. members will see on page 25 of the schedule, and the Legislative Council of New South Wales has also suggested the same thing, namely, that no person shall be a member of both the state parliament and the federal parliament. I take it that this will be a test division on all these three suggestions.

HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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he Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER (South Australia)[7.43]: I have had varying opinions on this subject, as I expect a good many hon. members have had at different times. On the balance of convenience, I think that the paragraph had better be omitted. At all events, we should not lay down any such rule as is suggested. That must be left to be worked out in the future. It must be left to the federal parliament to put a limitation on the choice of the electors if necessary. At present, I can see manifest reasons why that course should be taken. I will suppose-and I think it is not an unfair supposition-that all the present Premiers, if they continue in office, are elected to the first federal parliament-

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS:-

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I will suppose that all the attorney-generals-and I am quite sure that my hon. friend will be attorney-general-will be elected.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: I am afraid that, under the bill as it stands, ministers in state parliaments w ill be prevented from being elected to the federal parliament!

The Hon. H. DOBSON: It must be!

Mr

. SYMON: It would be a very inconvenient thing to have them in the federal parliament.

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he Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: That might be so; I am not so sure even about, that.

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he Hon. J.H. GORDON: Does not the hon. member think that any house could stagger along w ith advantage without them?

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I do not think it is probable, under the circumstances, that the same gentlemen will remain premiers and members of the federal parliament. I think there will be incidental difficulties. The question is whether, in the initiation of this matter, we want to impose limitations which might have the effect of preventing the electors selecting the men who best know the subject matter with which they have to deal. We have not such a large area of selection at the present time as we may hope to have. It is quite impossible to resist that knowledge, however we may try to deceive ourselves. There may be most excellent men out of parliament; we have several here at present. At the same time, the men who have chosen to sacrifice their own personal concerns to attend to political affairs are, as a general rule, better acquainted with them than those who come in capriciously, and when it may happen to suit them. I do not think it would be a good or a wise thing, at t

he beginning of the initiation of this scheme, to propose a limitation upon the electors which will have the effect of preventing them from selecting as their members the men who have chosen to make

politics their study, and the men who may be more peculiarly capable of assisting them in any questions that have to be determined. I do not mention this with any positiveness; I mention it as my opinion-which has been, as I say, a changing one-with the greatest possible diffidence; but I think on the whole it would be better to begin without a limitation. It will be better to say, if we put anything in, "until parliament otherwise provides.'

[start page 1004] Then, in the course of events, as we find that the commonwealth advances, as we hope, and are fairly confident it will, the time may come when we shall have a better area of selection, and when it might be expedient to alter and limit the choice of the electors. That, time alone will prove. But at the initiation of these proceedings, to begin by penalising a man in his own colony in a way as a condition of enabling him to be a member of the commonwealth parliament, will be to compel the electors to make a choice between their own home concerns, which, after all, ought to be their dearest property, and the welfare of the commonwealth, which, dear as it may be, ought, after all, to be a secondary consideration. I think it will be wiser if we leave this provision exactly as it stands, with an alteration, if alteration is needed-and I am not sure it is not-which will enable a limitation to be imposed by parliament if, in the course of time, it is found advisable.

Mr. SYMON (South Australia)[7.49]: There is no doubt that this is, as has been said, a very open question, and it is one which is surrounded with more or less difficulties from the points of view to which attention has already been called. Whilst I entirely agree with the principle of the clause which is sought to be introduced into the constitution, I confess that I am impressed a good deal with the suggestion made by the Attorney-General of Victoria, as to the existence of a power-if it does exist-in the federal parliament to impose this disqualification at a later period. I am satisfied myself that the principle sought to be enforced by the clause under discussion is the right one. I should like to point out, first of all, that it is no limitation, as some hon. members seem to think, upon the choice of the electors.

An HON. MEMBER: The effective choice Mr. SYMON: It is no limitation upon the choice or upon the effective choice of the electors-that is to say, the holding of a seat in the state parliament is no disqualification for election. The electors will select the men of most experience in politics, the men in whom they have most confidence, and the federal parliament, even in the inception of its proceedings, will enjoy the same benefits and advantages from the experience of those who may be elected, as though this clause had never been introduced. The limitation is not upon the choice of electors; the limitation is upon the choice of the elected. The limitation is upon the choice of the elected whether he will serve, not God or Mammon, but whether he will serve the nation in the federal parliament, or whether he will confine his ambition to the local concerns of the state to which he belongs.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: That is hair splitting!

Mr

. SYMON: How can it be? It is said that it is a limit upon the choice of the electors. The el ectors do not want to select their ministers in the local parliaments, and send them on to the federal parliament-not necessarily; there is no limitation. The foundation of the contention is that your local electors will wish to send local ministers into the federal parliament. If they did, then I should support a prohibition-I do not say in the first instance; I feel the weight of the argument in that respect-I should support a prohibition of ministers of the state being sent to the federal parliament. I believe it would be a most mischievous thing to do. It would tend to introduce local politics into the federal parliament, or to lead men from the states to subordinate, in many respects, federal matters to the exigencies of their local politics. What have we had here? I admit we could not have had a better example than we have had here of the desirability of a choice, and the necessity of experience. We have had the most [start page 1005] exp erienced men from the parliaments. Everybody acknowledges that. We have had the most experienced ministers-men who have held office for years, and who are full of political knowledge and political experience. But it has been suggested over and over again here-notably by my hon. friend on the other side who is against this clause-that the ministers in this

colony are over-weighted by the pressure of public opinion and so on, and that in some respects, at any rate, with regard to questions that have come up for discussion, their views are more or less tinged with the atmosphere of the local politics in which they live. I am putting these considerations to hon. members, admitting, as I do, the difficulty of the question. Is that a desirable thing to exist in connection with the federal parliament? I say it is not; and, more than that, when it is suggested that a man will be competent, I do not not think he can be competent to undertake the duties of both the local and the federal parliaments. To my mind it is impossible for him to discharge the duties of both satisfactorily. I think that the federal parliament and its duties will be adequate for the ambition of any man in Australia, and that, so far as the elected are concerned, however their ambition may be satisfied with the existing local condition of things, it will have a wider field and a higher object than perhaps their minds have hitherto conceived. I believe their presence in the federal parliament will fill their highest ambition; and, on the other hand, the duties they have to discharge will occupy all their attention and absorb all their energies, to an extent which will be inconsistent with the discharge of those other duties which appertain to the office they hold in the local parliament of the particular state. I do not assent to the way in which the hon. member, Mr. Higgins, has put it-that it is a prohibition; it is nothing of the kind. It does not limit the choice of the electors; it does not impose any prohibition upon them; that I think is apparent.

Mr. HIGGINS: But members of local parliaments will not stand!

Mr

. SYMON: Does the hon. member, Mr. Higgins, say that be will not stand? If so, I hope he will r econsider his decision, because that would be one of the greatest losses the federal parliaments could sustain.

The Hon. S. FRASER: A member could not be elected to the position; he could not sit!

Mr

. SYMON: Does my hon. friend mean that the electors cannot elect him?

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he Hon. S. FRASER: I am referring to the provisions of the local acts

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he Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON:-

Mr. SYMON: That is exactly what we want to prevent.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: You will prevent the effective choice of the electors!

Mr

. SYMON: You limit the choice of the member; but you do not limit the choice of the electors. T he elected has to, say whether he will prefer the federal parliament with its wider scope of interest and duty to the local parliament with its narrower scope.

An HON. MEMBER: Why cannot he serve both?

Mr. SYMON: I do not see how he can. Take, for instance, a minister in Western Australia. Our r ight hon. friend, the Premier of Western Australia, as we all know, is monarch of all he surveys; he, can bear no brother near the throne.

The Hon. A. DEAKIN: Like Alexander, he is sighing for new worlds to conquer!

Mr

. SYMON: I do not think my right, hon. friend would be in a position to do, much conquering, i f, while controlling the destinies of the great colony of which he is premier, he had to come all the way. [start page 1006] over to the federal capital to discharge his parliamentary duties there. We know my hon. friend's capacities are unbounded; but I am afraid they would be unequal to that task. The point is whether you are going to limit the choice of the men who are elected of which body they will be a member, leaving it to the electors to say whether they prefer those who have had experience in

the local legislature, as of course they naturally would, to discharge the duties intrusted to them in the commonwealth parliament. I understood the hon. member to say just now that he would not stand.

Mr. HIGGINS: I did not say so!

Mr

. SYMON: If the hon. member wishes to convey that, I do hope he will reconsider the position; but if it did occur to the hon. member or to any other hon. member not to do so, the effect would be that the state would have the benefit of services which would otherwise go to the federal parliament. The

re is another phase of the matter to which I would like to call attention. There is an ineradicable objection on the part of the people to pluralities whether in political or ecclesiastical matters.

An HON. MEMBER: Then they will not elect the members!

Mr. SYMON: I do not know. However, the principle is well understood, and I think it might very well be ingrafted upon the constitution, in so far as it is a principle. But there is another point involved, and it is this: that throughout the whole of these colonies there is a great objection on the part of unreasoning and uninstructed persons against the federation at all, on the ground that it is going to create a lot of offices, and permit what some persons who are in the habit of using language more expressive than refined would call a game of grab. They say that the federal system will simply create place and pay, and when you have pay in the local parliament, and superadded to that the pay of the federal parliament, the people of this country, when they come to understand those conditions, would not assent to it. If it be a good principle, why should we not have the credit of putting it in the constitution? Why leave it to the people to say, "These men want to grab at these things"?

An HON. MEMBER: That is sound logic-it is a good principle!

Mr. SYMON: Put it in. I have already said that I admit the difficulties from the point of view of expe diency, and possibly, when my hon. and learned friend, Mr. Isaacs, points out the remedy which he has incidentally suggested, it may be sufficient. But what I want hon. members to consider is whether it is not well for us not to say, "Let the electors reject the men who are already in the local parliament, and who become candidates for the federal parliament." But let us put it in as a principle, let us have the credit of saying that there shall be no plurality of offices so far as we can prevent it in connection with this constitution.

The Hon. S. FRASER: Why should you prevent the plurality of ministers?

Mr. SYMON: I do not see, except that the mischief, if there were mischief, would be greater in deg ree in that case than in the case of the local parliaments. If the principle applies to the one, it applies equally to the other.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON:-

Mr. SYMON: You act on the principle. Surely the right hon. gentleman would not support the opi nion that it is desirable that ministers of the state parliaments should be ministers of the federal parliament.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: It is not practicable!

[

start page 1007] Mr. SYMON: I do not think that it is practicable; but if it, is neither practicable nor right in principle, we ought to exclude it.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: I did not say that it was not right in principle!

Mr. SYMON: But I say that if it is not practicable, and if some of us think it is not right in principle, we ought to exclude it. At any rate, I admit the practical difficulties which surround it on every side, and that there is considerable force in the contention that has been urged in regard to many other provisions, and the possible difficulties in connection with the establishment of the commonwealth, and in connection with the first parliament, it seems to me that the balance still is entirely in favour of embodying the principle in the constitution, and in supporting the amendment which is now under consideration.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[8.3]: I should like to say, without detaining hon. members, that having spoken on this matter, and having expressed the strong opinion that there ought to be some limitation that would prohibit any person from being a member of the state parliament and at the same time a member of the commonwealth parliament, I adhere to that opinion, but nevertheless that I have been convinced by the arguments I have heard that this matter is not a subject for incorporation in a document of this kind. I have all along been protesting both at Adelaide and here-particularly at Adelaide-against the idea of this Convention attempting to legislate for the people of the commonwealth, whose interests we shall best consult by giving them the instrument of legislation and letting them make their own laws. Simply in accordance with that principle it is that I withdraw my opposition to the idea gentlemen being allowed to be members of the two parliaments at the same time. But I think it is an altogether improper thing that a man should be a member of both parliaments, and I think that it will tend to make the members of the federal parliament delegates of the state parliaments, After all it is a matter of internal polity for the commonwealth, and it is for the commonwealth to govern its internal polity itself. Just in the same way as I object to subsequent provisions, because I consider that they place limitations on the commonwealth parliament, I am prepared to give way on this matter. After all I think that the views that I or any other hon. member may hold as to what it is right for the commonwealth to do are matters for us to urge at the proper time, and that is after the commonwealth has been constituted.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON (South Australia)[8.9]: I am extremely sorry to hear the defection of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, from the principles which he laid down with so much strength, and in which I followed him so heartily.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I adhere to the principles!

T

he Hon. J.H. GORDON: I differ entirely from the position which the hon. and learned g entleman now assumes when he says that this is not a matter for us to decide, but a matter to be decided by the federal parliament or the states parliament, as the case may be. The proposition of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Isaacs, which is supported by the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, to leave the matter to those parliaments is a piece of simplicity. We are the people to decide this matter, and not those who will be distinctly and directly interested in it. Unless the federal parliament, and all the states parliaments in future are going to be composed of angels, unless they are going to be above all questions of self-interest and I have never known a parliament that [start page 1008] was-they are not the parties who should settle the question. How often has it been attempted in our local parliaments to lessen the number of members and to lower their salaries, with the result that, after a long and arduous fight, the proposal has generally been defeated? So that to leave it to the federal parliament, on the one hand, and to the states parliament, on the other, to limit the opportunities of their members, argues a simplicity on the part of hon. members who advise it which surprises me, after having observed their astuteness in regard to other matters. The illustration of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Isaacs, seems to me to be against the proposition. We have in this Convention able men who have done, and who are doing, good service in the parliaments of their own colonies; but that, to my mind, shows the undesirability of having the same men in both the federal and the states parliament. We are engaged here in fighting a battle for our own colonies.

Mr. HIGGINS: The representatives of the small states seem to be!

The Hon. J.H. GORDON: Well, I will make that concession to the hon. member; he has been f ighting the battle of the whole world. To a large extent, we have all been fighting for the interests of our own colonies. But we want men in the federal parliament who are detached as much as possible from local interests. Hon. members here have one eye upon the proceedings of the Convention and the other eye upon their local parliaments.

The Right Hon. Sir E. BRADDON: How does the hon. gentleman propose to detach the m embers of the federal parliament from the interests of their local parliaments?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Will a candidate tell his electors that he is going to regard the interests of the whole of the commonwealth as much as he will regard theirs?

The Hon. J.H. GORDON; No; but he will not be in the federal parliament to advocate local interests and considerations. He will, of course, have a natural leaning towards his own state; but members of the federal parliament should be detached as much as possible from local interests, and not be directly involved in their advocacy, which would be the result if we had ministers and great party leaders in the federal parliament. The argument that this matter should be left to the federal parliament, I have, I think, disposed of, and the argument that it should be left to the electors is, in my opinion, an unsound one. A member of a local parliament in seeking election to the federal parliament would have the advantage of political machinery behind him; be would have the advantages given to him by his position, and he would have a considerable start over ran ordinary candidate. The argument of the hon. member, Sir John Downer, has in it a spice of egotism which, while justified in his own case, I think the most modest of us will do well not to adopt. He says, in effect, "We are the people of light and leading. Take away the members of the state parliament and you have nothing left but I dust and ashes.'" I differ from that view. There are as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it. I am bold enough to say that if we wiped out the whole of this Convention, Australia might suffer; but it would still roll on in its proper place in the Cosmos. There is really nothing in the argument that the states cannot get along-to use some hon. member's phrase-without their men of light and leading. I do not know that we constitute the whole of the ranks of the elect. A system of plurality will taint federal politics with local interests beyond the point at which they should be influenced in that way. It will create monopolists of those who are at present in politics, and it will restrict the opportunities of those who are not.

[start page 1009] Mr. WISE (New South Wales)[8.11] was understood to say that eight out of the ten members representing New South Wales in the Convention were members of either house of the local parliament. If they were to be excluded, he did not know, as a practical man, where they could get the remaining twenty-four to properly represent the colony in the commonwealth parliament.

Mr. SYMON: Does not the hon. member want to reduce the number of members in the local par liament?

Mr. WISE: Undoubtedly; but in South Australia there is a plethora of admirable candidates. We al l hope to see the hon. member, Mr. Gordon, in the federal parliament; but I cannot imagine the South Australian Parliament without that hon. member in it. No doubt, many hon. members will feel the same with regard to other colonies of which they have more knowledge than I have. As a practical question, the best course would be to leave the matter, as the hon. member, Mr. Barton, has suggested, to work itself out under the-guidance of experience, and let the federal parliament determine from time to time what is the best course. The logical conclusion of the argument advanced by the hon. member, Mr. Gordon, namely, that there is a danger of local interests warping men's judgment when they come into the federal parliament would be that we should elect only foreigners to the federal parliament.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON: That would be a r eductio ad absurdum!

Mr. WISE: Of course; but that would be the logical conclusion from the argument. I will support t he suggestion of the hon. member, Mr. Barton.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[8.15]: I support the proposal of the hon. member, Mr. Barton, Whatever virtue there may be in the future in the proposition now placed before us by the hon. member, Mr. Symon, and others, I think that in the beginning, at any rate, it would be much better for us to leave this matter to be dealt with by the federal parliament. There can be no doubt in the mind of any one that in the smaller states, at any rate, there are not too many public men who would desire to become members of the senate or house of representatives. We desire to build up these two institutions, at any rate, in the early days in a way that will reflect credit upon the work that we shall have completed. I am sure it is the desire of everyone that the men who will become the first members of the senate and the house of representatives shall be selected from those most experienced in public life, and those who are most able in the various governments and legislatures. If we exclude every public man from taking a part in the government of the various colonies; if we say to him you shall at once decide whether you shall give up your connection with the politics of the colony you belong to, or whether you shall take part in the federal government, I think it will have an injurious effect on the early days of the federal constitution. I believe we have difficulties enough ahead of us without making any more, and we may be assured of this: that both the states and the commonwealth will be able to take care of their own business in this respect. They will be able to regulate this matter. They will soon find out whether it is desirable or expedient that persons holding office in the parliaments or governments of the various states shall also hold seats in the federal parliament, and the federal parliament itself will also take care that it shall be fitly represented, and if it finds that the plan adopted is undesirable will place restrictions upon it. When we look round this Chamber and notice that every person here, almost without exception, represents the [start page 1010] p eople of his own colony in its parliament; when we look back to the Convention of 1891, and remember that every single delegate, I think without exception, was a member of the parliament of the colony he came from, I think we will take a very strong step if we say that not one of these persons who were there in 1891, and who are here to day, shall be a member of the federal parliament, unless he decides at once whether he will throw in his lot and take a part in the federal government, and altogether sever his connection with the local parliament. I think it is unnecessary for us to decide that question. It will be much better for us to leave it to time to settle it. I can at once understand the objections which have been raised to members occupying a place in both houses; but I think that them objections may be fairly left to the future to settle. They will settle themselves. I think if we frame this constitution in this respect in a way which will leave it to the electors, which will leave it to the local parliament, and which will leave it to the federal parliament, if need be, to settle this matter, it will be far better than for us to settle it at the present time. As for the small matter referred to by someone-I forget who it was-of members receiving double pay, I think that is unworthy of our notice. Surely that may be arranged by the local parliament or by the federal parliament. They can easily make some regulation or condition as to whether persons who occupy places in both legislatures shall receive double emoluments. The thing is altogether too small for us to deal with at the present time. As to the proposition or suggestion that there is an objection amongst the people of the various colonies to persons holding many offices, that is a matter, too, which will be under their own control, which they will be able to settle for themselves. I have never heard any objection of the sort myself. I have never heard it suggested that persons will try to obtain places in the local parliament and also in the federal parliament with the object of obtaining double pay. I think it is not very likely to occur, and in any case it can easily be restricted. Whatever may be our ideas as to what is best in the future, the best course for us to pursue now is to place as little restriction as possible upon any one in regard to whether he shall be a member of one parliament or another.

The Hon. A. DOUGLAS (Tasmania)[8.21]: It is not likely that in an assembly like this the proposition of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, will be carried. This assembly reminds me of a number of individuals seated round the festive board drinking to the toast of "our noble selves." We are all interested in this matter, and we are all going to vote for our "noble selves," because most of us expect to be returned to the federal parliament, and if not to that to some other. It has been argued that many of those who will be returned to the federal parliament will be men holding

positions in the local parliament; consequently they will be strongly impressed with the idea that they should keep possession of the parliamentary benches, and should rule the whole of the continent. There can be no doubt that the position taken up by the hon. member, Mr. Gordon, is the correct one; but it will have no weight here. I am not going to attempt to argue the matter, because I look upon the result as a foregone conclusion. The hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, has altered his view, which was the correct one, to suit the circumstances of the present arrangement.

The Hon. E. BARTON: I did not know that!

The Hon. A. DOUGLAS: No, t he hon. and learned member did not know it, What is the idea? To carry out this little arrangement amongst ourselves. There is scarcely a man present who does not an- [start page 1011] ticipate having a chance, at any rate, of being placed in the federal parliament. Many of us were here in 1891. We find ourselves here in 1897, and we expect to be in some other place in 1898. That is the result of the force of circumstances; and for any member of the Convention to think that we shall carry out the right principle is a perfect absurdity-a monstrosity.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: I am nearly persuaded to vote for it!

T

he Hon. A. DOUGLAS: I do not care whether the hon. member does or does not vote for it, bec ause he will be in the minority. We are to have ministers from various colonies in the federation. Hon. members speak about the premiers in the local parliaments being in the federal parliament. I should like to know how many premiers there are here now, who were here in 1891?

The Hon. E. BARTON: Ministers in the local parliaments will not be able to hold seats in the federal parliament. They will not, at any rate, be ministers in the federal parliament!

The Hon. A. DOUGLAS: Cannot they serve two masters in a proper manner? Of course they can. T hey can travel here from one colony, and they can go back again. I do not, however, desire to keep up the argument any longer, as it is only a case of so much "talkee-talkee," as we used to say in Victoria in the early days.

Mr. HIGGINS: The hon. member has been in Victoria, then?

The Hon. A. DOUGLAS: It so happens that I know more of the colony than the hon. member does, although be would lead the people of New South Wales to suppose that he is the only man in Victoria who knows anything about it. The proposal of the hon. and learned member, Mr. Symon, and the hon. member, Mr. Gordon, is the most truthful, honorable, and straightforward.

Question-That the new clause suggested by the legislature of Tasmania stand part of the bill-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 10; noes, 24; majority, 14.

AYES.

Berry, Sir G. Solomon, V.L.

Brown, N.J. Symon, J. H.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Walker, J.T.

Dobson, H.

Douglas, A. Teller,

Grant, C.H. Gordon, J.H.

NOES.

Barton, E. Holder, F.W.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Isaacs, I.A.

Briggs, H. Kingston, C.C.

Brunker, J.N. Leake, G.

Carruthers, J.H. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Crowder, F.T. Moore, W.

Downer, Sir J.W. O'Connor, R.E.

Forrest, Sir J. Quick, Dr. J.

Fraser, S. Venn, H.W.

Glynn, P.M. Wise, B.R.

Hackett, J.W.

Henning, A.H. Teller,

Higgins, H.B. Deakin, A.

Question so resolved in the negative.

New clause, suggested by the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of Tasmania:

44b. A member of either house of the parliament of the commonwealth shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the other house of the parliament.

New clause agreed to.

Clause 45. Any person:

I. Who has taken an oath or made a declaration or acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence, to a foreign power, or has done any act whereby he has become a subject or a citizen, or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen, of a foreign power: or

II. Who is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent, or a public defaulter; or

III. Who is attainted of treason, or convicted of felony or of any infamous crime: shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the senate or of the house of representatives until the disability is removed by a grant or a discharge, or the expiration or remission of the sentence, or a pardon, or release, or otherwise.

Suggested amendment by Legislative Assembly of New South Wales:

Omit "II. Who is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent or a public defaulter; or"

[start page 1012] Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[8.33]: Before the Committee proceeds to consider the amendment which has been suggested by the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, I would suggest that we make an alteration in the first portion of the clause by adding words to the effect that these disqualifications shall operate until the federal parliament otherwise provides.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Does the hon. member contemplate the federal parliament making pr ovision exempting a man who has taken the oath of allegiance to a foreign power?

Mr. GLYNN: This provision is really temporary. It is to cover the gap between the adoption of the constitution and the passing of special legislation by the federal parliament. I would ask hon. members also to consider the effect of sub-clauses II and III. For instance, the meaning of the term "bankrupt" itself may change. It may be very different twenty years hence from what it now is. Then there is the word "felony." As Sir Samuel Griffith has pointed out, the meaning of the word "felony" is changing considerably. In some colonies felony is comparatively a light offence; in other colonies it is a heavy offence. In New Zealand felony is practically unknown to the federal law. Changes similar to that which have taken place in New Zealand in regard to the meaning of the word may take place in other colonies, and if you leave the clause as it stands you will put it in the power of the states parliaments to either extend or diminish the qualification by making a change in the meaning of "felony." I say that this is a matter for the federal parliament, and that it ought not to be fixed perpetually in the constitution. Again, as regards the construction of the clause itself, I would draw the attention of the Drafting Committee to another matter. The hon. member, Mr. Barton, has referred to the taking of an oath or declaration of allegiance. The first part of the clause, it will be seen, does not read with the latter part of it. For instance, it says, "Any person who has taken an oath or made a declaration or acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power." The clause then goes on to say that the person shall be incapable of being chosen or sitting as a member of the senate or of the house of representatives until the disability is removed. But, once a man takes an oath of this kind, you cannot remove the disability because a thing is done. The amendment required is purely a drafting amendment. The way in which the matter should be put would be, until the removal of the disqualification caused by the taking of the oath. That is the evident intent of the clause; but the wording of the clause is altogether different. I think this is a matter that ought to be left to the federal parliament, and I think that the words I suggest should be adopted.

The HON. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[8.36]: I am unable to see that it would be a good thing to limit this clause in the way suggested by my hon. friend, Mr. Glynn, who has said that this is a matter that should be left to the federal parliament. This happens to be just one of those matters which are included in the constitution of every one of the colonies. All the colonial constitutions provide for such matters as these, and it is perhaps right that they should provide for them, for even in the first parliament it would be rather a strange thing to find persons who had taken oaths of allegiance to foreign powers, who were undischarged bankrupts or insolvents, or who had been recently attainted of crime, or convicted of felony or infamous crime. Unless you have provisions of this kind, it is quite possible that somebody might take a violent affection for a gaol-bird, and put him into parliament. We do not want that sort of thing. It is one thing not to put limita- [start page 1013] tions on the ordinary freedom of the citizens of the commonwealth. It is another thing to provide against the defilement of parliament; and this would be the case as regards the 3rd sub-clause, whilst in the case of the 2nd sub-clause it would be the admission into parliament of persons who had not purged themselves of certain disabilities, while in the case of the first subclause it would be the entry of persons into parliament whose very conditions would suggest that their interests were quite different from those of the citizens of the country. Persons who have taken the oath of allegiance to a f

oreign power are not to be classed in the same category as citizens of the country for the purpose of joining in legislation.

An HON. MEMBER: And not to be trusted?

The Hon. E. BARTON: Not to be trusted, pr ima facie!

Mr. GLYNN: That is not one of my points!

The Hon. E. BARTON: If the definition of a point is a thing of no magnitude, it is not a point bec ause it is larger. These limitations having been put in all constitutions of the Australian colonies, and having worked well, and prevented the entry of undesirable persons into parliament, they may well be continued in the constitution we are now framing. They are not limitations of the freedom of the electors. It is scarcely to be supposed that, except by inadvertence or accident, the electors would vote for such a person; but it is quite possible that the electors of the commonwealth, not knowing that certain persons had taken the oath of allegiance to a foreign power or had become attainted of some crime, or become bankrupt or insolvent-it is quite on the cards that such persons would stand for election for the commonwealth parliament, and the electors might choose them, not knowing who they were. That is not at all an improbable supposition. Such a thing has happened, and it is a kind of thing which the electors are to be protected against, because it is a state of things the electors themselves could not provide against. They might be taken in warily; they might be caught in a trap. This is not merely a case of preserving the freedom of the electors, but of preventing them from being imposed upon by persons who otherwise might creep into parliament, perhaps, in some cases, persons who were insidious enemies of the commonwealth, and in other cases persons who had been attainted of crime, or who were under other conditions of which they should rid themselves before they offered themselves for election to any legislative assembly. I submit that on the whole it is very desirable to avoid making the alteration suggested by the hon. member, Mr. Glynn; and while I am speaking, I think I might say that, although it is far less objectionable, it would be desirable also not to accept the amendment that has been suggested by the Legislative Assembly of this colony.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: Is it not a fact that in all our constitution acts power is reserved t o the local parliaments to alter them, and they have altered them in this respect?

The Hon. E. BARTON: The disqualification in regard to bankruptcy and insolvency still remains in the electoral law of New South Wales; so that our electoral law has followed the constitution in that respect.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[8.41]: I think that the hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, has not put the case quite fairly. I agree with what he said as to the necessity of imposing this disqualification; but I think it should be only temporary, and that the federal parliament should have power, if it wishes to do so, to remove it. The principle of federalism is to have as short a constitution as possible, leaving as much as possible to the [start page 1014] federal parliament. I ask the Committee to adopt the amendment. That will allow this disqualification to attach to people who are returned in violation of the law until the federal parliament in its wisdom thinks fit to alter or to repeal it. As the hon. and learned member has spoken strongly upon this point, I will refer him to what Sir Samuel Griffith says upon it. This is the view he takes. Referring to section 45 he says:

This section-which is not altered from the draft of 1891-needs verbal amendment. The words "until," &c., at the end are not applicable to the whole of the cases mentioned. The word "felony" also is, it is suggested, an inappropriate one. Apart from the fact that the word no longer bears any definite descriptive meaning, the use of it has the effect of making the disqualification in question dependent upon state law. In New Zealand, the term is no longer used in criminal law, and it may be disused in other colonies. Moreover, the same offences are felonies in some colonies and misdemeanours in others. In all, I believe, manslaughter by negligence is felony.

On this point I submit three alternative suggestions:

1. To leave the imposition of disqualifications to the federal parliament;

That is my suggestion, covering the gap in the meantime by a provision in the constitution-

2. To establish disqualifications until this parliament otherwise provides;

3. To substitute for "felony" words to the effect following:-"An offence of such a nature that by the law of the state of which he is a representative a person convicted of it is liable to undergo penal servitude or imprisonment with hard labour for a term of three years."

The Hon. E. BARTON: I have the proposed amendment of Sir Samuel Griffith before me, and it r eads somewhat differently. I am prepared to accept it.

Mr. GLYNN: That is a question of detail. The amendment is suggested by Sir Samuel Griffith to obtain uniformity of interpretation. In some of the colonies the term "felony" includes exceedingly light offences, while in other colonies a crime of considerable magnitude must be committed before one becomes guilty of a felony. The hon. and learned member, Mr. Barton, referred to the fact that a similar provision was embodied in some, I think he said in all-of the colonial constitutions. But he omitted to say that these constitutions can be easily amended. In most of them an amendment can be made, if it is carried by a two-thirds majority of the houses, and a resolution is passed asking for the royal assent to it. These constitutions can be more easily amended than the draft bill before us. Then, too, they were passed on the inception of constitutional government in Australia. The constitution of South Australia was passed in 1855, and the constitution of New South Wales and Victoria are of about the same date. I think, the fact that we have similar provisions in our constitutions should not determine our decision in regard to this matter. I move:

That the words "Until parliament otherwise provides" be inserted at the beginning of the clause.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[8.45]: If any clause is wanted in the bill, I think it is this clause, with a very slight modification as to the word "felony." That, of course, might be slightly altered to suit local requirements.

The CHAIRMAN: I would ask the hon. member to confine his remarks to the 1st paragraph.

T

he Hon. S. FRASER: I think the 1st paragraph is absolutely necessary. A foreigner might get i nto our parliament, and sell our defence secrets to a foreign power. We must look forward to the time when we will be a powerful nation, or even now when we are weak it is still more desirable that we should be in safe keeping within ourselves. Such a clause is in force in every, country. Would a foreign country [start page 1015] al low a Britisher to go into its parliament? There would not be the slightest chance, and their laws will scarcely allow a foreigner to travel through their country.

The Hon. A. DOUGLAS (Tasmania) (8.47]: I cannot see why there should be any objection to this proposal. All that we are asked to do here is to affirm a law already in our constitution, and that the general parliament should have the power of altering it in any shape or way it may choose. We are bound to trust the federal parliament.

An HON. MEMBER: They can alter it under clause 131!

The Hon. A. DOUGLAS: Yes; but they would have to go through a great many formalities.

T

he CHAIRMAN: The hon. member must confine his remarks to the first paragraph, unless he wishes to propose an amendment to insert the words "until parliament otherwise provides."

The hon. A. DOUGLAS: I am in favour of putting in these words, because it will create no di fficulty whatever. We should give the parliament power to alter it afterwards if they saw a necessity for doing so. We may be sure they will not make any ridiculous alteration. It is astonishing how many objections are brought forward when it is proposed to give the federal parliament any power. First of all, we are told that we are not to bind the future parliament; but as soon as we wish to give them more

freedom in dealing with any matter, we are told that we are giving the federal parliament too much power.

Question-That the words "until parliament otherwise provides" be inserted-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 8; noes, 26; majority, 18.

AYES.

Brown, N.J. Solomon, V.L.

Dobson, H. Walker, J.T.

Douglas, A.

Grant, C.H. Teller,

Moore, W. Glynn, P.M.

NOES.

Barton, E. Higgins, H.B.

Berry, Sir G. Holder, F.W.

Braddon, Sir E.N.C. Howe, J.H.

Briggs, H. Isaacs, I.A.

Brunker, J.N. Kingston, C.C.

Carruthers, J.H. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. O'Connor, R.E.

Crowder, F.T. Symon, J.H.

Deakin, A. Trenwith, W.A.

Forrest, Sir J. Venn, H.W.

Fraser, S. Wise, B.R.

Gordon, J.H.

Hackett, J.W. Teller,

Henning, A.H. Quick, Dr. J.

Question so resolved in the negative.

Paragraph 1 agreed to.

Clause 45, paragraph II. Who is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent, or a public defaulter;-or

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales:

Omit paragraph II.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS (New South Wales)[8.55]: I propose to ask the Committee to agree to the suggested amendment of the New South Wales legislature. None of the constitutions of the various Australian colonies provide that a man who is an undischarged bankrupt, an insolvent, or public defaulter, shall, during the whole period of his bankruptcy or insolvency remain out of public life. The constitution of the South Australian legislature has no provision of the kind.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: He forfeits his seat!

T

he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: He forfeits his seat. The next clause in the draft bill-clause 46-pr ovides for the forfeiture of the seat. That brings the federal law in a line with the law of the various colonies, and that I hold is quite sufficient. Why should men who, through some misfortune, are compelled to take advantage of the insolvency or bankruptcy laws, he kept out of public life until they can get their certificate of discharge?

[

start page 1016] The Hon. H. DOBSON: Because they can get it at once if their bankruptcy is honest!

T

he Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: My hon. friend knows they cannot.

Mr

. WISE: They can get it in this colony within three weeks or a month!

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: It is easy to talk like that, but it is not so easy in practice to do it. If any one contested their discharge and demanded an examination of one thing or another, he could retard the granting of the certificate for months. What is more likely than that, in the strife of politics, we should have some one keeping some leading public man out of political life by keeping his affairs before the Insolvency Court? In framing this constitution has there been any great, demand on the part of the Australian people that we should go beyond the constitutions under which responsible government owes its existence? Has there been any evidence whatever that this law has injured the rights and privileges of citizens? We know of instances in which those who have devoted themselves to the profession of politics-some of our greatest statesmen have had to live a life of poverty. They have neglected their own affairs in attending to the affairs of the country, and they have thus impoverished themselves. In many instances, public men have had to seek the protection of the Bankruptcy Court. Not the slightest suspicion has been cast upon their conduct of public affairs, and time after time the electors have returned them to their seats in parliament without any injury to public business. It has never been urged in those instances that the public have suffered. Surely it is sufficient that we should provide that the seat shall be forfeited. The public are sure to know the circumstances of a man's insolvency. Under our law the election in such a case cannot take place until twenty-one days. I cannot imagine an election taking place at an earlier period, especially if you have to provide for elections all over the continent. There will be ample time for the public to know of a man's insolvency and the causes which led up to it. Surely the electors themselves can be trusted to say whether a man ought or ought not to be returned. Apart from that, if hon. members will look at the clause, they will see that a man may be an habitual drunkard; he may have been convicted of misdemeanour time after time; he may be a thief or a criminal; but he is not, however, disqualified from a seat in parliament unless he is a felon. I hope the Committee will agree to the New South Wales amendment, especially having regard to the fact that, under the next clause, the disqualification which exists in, all the Australian colonies under the constitutions is still provided for, and no attempt is made to eliminate it.

Mr. WISE (New South Wales)[9]: I hope the amendment of the New South Wales legislature will not be carried. Poverty is no shame, and should be no disqualification. But unquestionably where a

man fails in his own business, it is prima facie, until explained, an admission of inability to conduct the affairs of other people.

An HON. MEMBER: Not at all!

Mr

. WISE: I quite admit that in many cases an explanation easily gets rid of the disqualification; but , prima facie, you would not trust the management of your own private affairs to a man who had f

ailed, unless he was able to give an explanation of his failure. I do not think we ought to ask that the affairs of the nation should be intrusted to such a man, unless he is able to give an explanation.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: Would you keep the seat vacant for him until he could explain?

Mr

. WISE: That is a matter which might be left to the commonwealth, who [start page 1017] will have power to make general laws relating to bankruptcy and insolvency. All that is provided here is, that when a man finds himself in a position of inability to meet his creditors, he shall explain to the proper tribunal that he has been forced into that position by misfortune. In this colony, in Victoria, and in Queensland I do not know what the law is in the other colonies-if a man has been forced into bankruptcy by misfortune, he can obtain his certificate in a very short space of time.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: If there is an opposing creditor?

Mr

. WISE: Why is there an opposing creditor? Unless from pure malice, he is an opposing cr editor because he believes, rightly or wrongly, that he has been defrauded or cheated. It is unquestionably true that in this colony many of the men to whom we owe most are men who have had to seek the protection of the Bankruptcy Court; but it is equally true that there have been frequent scandals from men becoming bankrupt, and making use of their bankruptcy as a ground for re-election, appealing to the sympathy of electors, to some of whom, possibly, they owe money-

Mr. WALKER: I have known it happen over and over again!

Mr

. WISE: Appealing to the sympathy of the electors, and asking them to return them, not on t heir merits, but because they are unfortunate. I do not think such a display of sympathy is to the advantage of the public interest, and it appears to me, seeing that the failure to meet obligations involves ruin to those persons who suffer loss through that failure, it is only just that the man should be called upon to explain publicly what were the reasons which reduced him to that unfortunate position.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: Does the hon. and learned member notice that under this pr ovision a man can be a thief, and yet not be disqualified!

An HON. MEMBER: Yes, he is disqualified!

Mr

. WISE: I think he is. I quite agree that if the laws of the different colonies prevent a man from obt aining a certificate within a reasonable time, the commonwealth, which will have power to pass laws dealing with bankruptcy or insolvency, may introduce a clause giving a man an opportunity of clearing himself at the earliest occasion. But I protest against the idea that a man who has failed to meet his obligations-though I do not, by any means, regard it as the highest proof of, public virtue that a man pays 20s. in the £; many men who pay 20s. in the £ are rogues. At the same time we have to deal with facts as they are, and under existing circumstances it is prima facie a confession or adm

ission of incapacity, at the least, if a man fails in his business obligations, and he should, therefore, I think, be called upon to explain what the causes of his failure were before he is intrusted with the high duties of legislation.

The Hon. H. DOBSON (Tasmania)[9.4]: I hope we shall discuss this matter, if we are going to discuss it at any length, upon a broad principle, and that we shall put on one side the local experiences

of our worthy friend, Mr. Carruthers. I quite agree with the hon. and learned member, Mr. Wise, that any man who has become bankrupt can get his discharge, if he is worthy of it, in a very short space of time. A discharge is generally withheld for two reasons. First of all, because a bankrupt has probably been guilty of something of a fraudulent character, in which case he ought not to be allowed so sit in parliament; and, secondly, because he has been guilty of extravagant speculation, creating a loss to his creditors-because he has been a jubilee plunger; an ordinary democratic plunger or a conservative plunger, if you like- [start page 1018] b ecause he has been reckless and extravagant, and in his greed to make money has caused a loss to his creditors, possibly his butcher and baker-for these two reasons sometimes a discharge has been withheld; but does any one contend that if for the least guilty reason, because he has been guilty of speculation which has caused a loss to honest traders, it is withheld, that it is any hardship to that man that he should endure the slight punishment of standing out of political life until he has obtained his discharge? Surely that is a fair penalty which he should be made to pay? If one might refer for a moment to local experiences, I think I could name a certain local legislator who was declared bankrupt, who forfeited his seat, and who went before the electors a few days afterwards and won his seat back again. For years that man remained an undischarged bankrupt in the legislature, and it was said-I do not say whether it was true or false-that he incurred debt after debt among a body of traders-grocers, butchers, bakers, without any reasonable probability of being able to pay them. Is it right that such a man should sit at the table of the federal parliament to make laws for us? I say, no. He may not be guilty of anything very dreadful, but he is guilty of a wrong. He has wronged petty tradesmen, he has caused a lose to them, and he ought to be punished in some way.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[9.7]: Something has been said about the law of the various colonies. There is no doubt about the law of this colony upon the point. Both the Electoral Act and the Constitution Act refer to this disqualification. The Electoral Act says:

Every holder of an elector's right under this act shall be qualified to be nominated as a candidate, and to be elected as a member for any electoral district, unless he be disqualified for some cause herein, or in the Constitution Act specified.

Then, in regard to the vacation of seats, the constitution act provides, among other things, that a seat shall become vacant if a member

shall become bankrupt or an insolvent debtor within the meaning of the laws in force within the said colony relating to bankrupts or insolvent debtors.

That is the law as far as it exists in New South Wales but matters go, further in England apparently, for I find the following in Anson's "Law and Custom of the Constitution." The author says:

Bankruptcy is a disqualification for election, and, should it befall a person already elected, it incapacitates him from sitting and voting. The disqualification can be removed by the annulment of the adjudication in bankruptcy, or by a grant of discharge, accompanied by a certificate that the bankruptcy was not caused by misconduct.

This matter goes so far that it relates equally to the House of Lords, for the author says:

A further limitation on the powers of the Crown must be noted in the case of bankrupt peers. The Bankruptcy Act of 1883 disqualifies them from sitting and voting; but an unrepealed clause of the Bankruptcy Disqualification Act, 1871, provides that a "writ of summons shall not be issued to any peer for the time disqualified from sitting or voting in the House of Lords."

So that the disqualification applies even to a peer. Now, I take it there is no great hardship in this matter. It has been well pointed out already that if a person becomes bankrupt or insolvent under circumstances which do not imply any dishonesty on his part, there is no difficulty about his obtaining his discharge.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: The election may be over in the meantime!

The Hon. E. BARTON: It may be over, and it may be also that cases will occur here and there in w hich a provision of this kind may operate with some hardship. But we are dealing with the protection of the commonwealth, and we ought not to leave the commonwealth unprotected in a very important matter [start page 1019] si mply because some person may at some time suffer a hardship. The question is, what is the interest of the state? We know that the safety of the state is the highest law, and is it to the interest of the state to allow all these matters to be left open, in order that in occasional cases some hardship may not exist? That is not the way in which we ought to deal with the matter. Unless I am mistaken, our line is to see that the general interest of the state is, so far as is possible in a constitution, without undue limitations, protected, even though in cases here and there some hardship may be created. If we depart from that line, then the probability is that we allow interests of the state to suffer materially, simply because somebody may at some time or other, of which we know nothing, and under circumstances of which we know nothing, be subjected to a hardship.

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS: Would it not be sufficient if you were to provide that any person w ho has been refused his discharge shall be incapable of being elected or sitting?

The Hon. E. BARTON: I do not think so.

Mr

. SYMON: Supposing that he were elected, in a week or two he might have to vacate his seat ag ain?

An HON. MEMBER: Suppose he never applied for his discharge?

The Hon. E. BARTON: I do not think that would meet the case; and I think we are on safer g round if we let these matters stand as they are. I do not wish to take up any stand of blind conservatism. This is not a matter of conservatism, but of looking after the interests of the commonwealth, and nothing else, and I take it that we are to weigh those two things in the balance-the possibility during a long track of time of some hardship occurring to some innocent person, and, on the other hand, the very great probability that, without some such provision, there will be danger to the commonwealth; and if we do that, we can make only one answer.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[9.12]: I should like to follow the same lines as the hon. member who has just sat down. The Victorian Constitution Act Amendment, Act of 1890 provides-first as to the Legislative Councillors, that, amongst other persons, no person who has been attainted of any treason, on convicted of any felony or infamous offence, within any part of her Majesty's dominions, or who is an uncertificated bankrupt or insolvent, shall be capable of being elected or continue to be a member of the Council; and, as to the Legislative Assembly, the same act provides, in the 125th section: No person, being an uncertificated bankrupt or insolvent, shall be capable of being elected a member of the Legislative Assembly; and, if he is so elected, the act goes on to say that his election shall be void. I think it is perfectly plain that the highest concern that we have in this matter, as we have to choose between the inconvenience of a private individual and the safety of the public, is to look after the safety of the public. If a man becomes insolvent, either compulsorily or voluntarily, he is under the control of a court immediately. He is liable to be called up for examination; his conduct is liable to be inquired into, and if the court should find him guilty of any improper conduct, he may be subjected to punishment more or less severe. Surely a person under a cloud for the time-being ought to stand aside until his conduct has been thoroughly cleared-in the interests of public morality he ought to keep a stain off the highest court of the country. Surely it is his duty to stand aside, and if so, it is for us to see that the law is made perfectly clear to, if necessary, compel him to do so.

Paragraph 2 agreed to.

[start page 1020] III. Is attainted of treason or convicted of felony or of any infamous crime:

his place shall thereupon become vacant.

The Hon. E. BARTON: An amendment to this paragraph has been suggested by Sir Samuel G riffith, to which the hon. member, Mr. Dobson, has already referred, and I should like to mention it. It may be that the Committee will think that it is superior to the present provision, and the matter goes a little beyond mere drafting. That is why I think I am bound to mention it at once.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: Does the hon. and learned member propose to adopt the words?

T

he Hon. E. BARTON: The words in the clause are:

Who is attainted of treason or convicted of felony or any infamous crime.

Sir Samuel Griffith has endeavoured to make the matter a little more specific, and the Committee will judge whether it is desirable to adopt his suggestion, which is, that in place of the words "felony or any infamous crime," we should insert the following words:-

Any offence of such a nature that by the law of the state of which he is a representative, the person convicted of it is liable to undergo deprivation of liberty for a term of three years.

If we are not going to leave the definition of felony or infamous crime to a conception we may have of it at different times, there is something definite here laid down as to liability to sentence which would make a disqualification. I have not risen for the purpose of supporting the suggested amendment; but I think it highly necessary that in a case of this kind such an amendment should be laid before the Committee.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON:-

The Hon. E. BARTON: A great many people have asked me that question, and I have asked the ques tion myself. The right hon. member will remember the story of the speaker who said, "If the hon. member continues his conduct I shall have to name him." To that the member replied, "What then, Mr. Speaker?" and the Speaker had to confess that he did not know.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON:-

The Hon. J.H. CARRUTHERS:-

The Hon. E. BARTON: I take it that the term "public" defaulter covers more cases than that. It m ust cover cases in which persons who have given no opportunity for the law to act upon them are still liable to its penalties. That would be the position of a person who absconded. A public defaulter might also be a person who as an accountant to the Treasury, was in default.

The Hon. H. DOBSON: Or a man who had not paid his land-tax!

Mr

. HIGGINS (Victoria)[9.17]: The phraseology of this clause is almost the same as that used in the Constitution of Canada, which was drafted by an Imperial draftsman in 1865 or 1866. The Victorian act also contains a very similar provision:

Provided that no person who shall have been attainted of any treason or convicted of any felony or infamous crime in any part of her Majesty's dominions shall be capable of being elected a member of the said assembly.

I admit that the words in the clause are not so definite as we should like; but it would be better not to depart from them without very good reason. Especially would it be well not to insist upon the three years' conviction. Many a man who gets two years is as big a rogue as the man who gets three years.

Mr. WISE: In New South Wales the distinction between felony and misdemeanour depends upon t he length of imprisonment to which the offender is liable!

Mr. HIGGINS: I think it will be better to adhere to the provision in the clause. In doing so we sha ll be adhering to the provisions of the constitutions of Canada and of Victoria, and, I believe, New South Wales.

[start page 1021] The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[9.19]: I would direct the attention of hon. members to the proposed amendment of Sir Samuel Griffith. I must confess that I do not think we should adopt it as it stands.

It says:

An offence of such a nature as by the law of the state-

Why not also an offence against the federal law?

Mr. SYMON: There will be no criminal offences under the federal law, except offences against the federal government!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: A man might commit a crime under the federal law, and he should be equally disqualified.

Mr. SYMON: Surely the hon. and learned member would not admit such a man to the federal parliament!

The Hon. E. BARTON: There will be no criminal offences under this constitution!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: There may be criminal offences incidental to the constitution. For instance, there might be a customs declaration amounting to perjury. Why it should not apply, to any penalty, or to any misdemeanour which is of an infamous nature, I cannot imagine.

An HON. MEMBER: Surely it does!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: No; these are the words:

By the laws of the state of which he is a representative he is not capable of being chosen or elected.

The idea might be right, but it requires careful alteration of the words.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON (South Australia)[9.21]: I trust the Drafting Committee will not fail to exercise a liberal discretion in striking out words which they do not understand, and that they will put in words which can be understood by persons commonly acquainted with the English language.

The Hon. E. BARTON: The words "public defaulter" are used to define a certain class of defaulter!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: I know something is meant, but it would be infinitely better if we know precisely what is meant. There are these terms "public defaulter" and also "infamous crime." Other expressions should be used more readily "understanded of the people." The Drafting Committee might reconsider paragraph 3.

Mr. WALKER: I understand the hon. member, Mr. Barton, thinks that the Drafting Committee will accept Sir Samuel Griffith's suggestion!

The Hon. E. BARTON: They will deal with it!

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[9-23]: I would direct the attention of the hon. member, Mr. Barton, to the words "until the disability is removed by a grant of a discharge." I would suggest that those words should be left out, because there is a possibility of removal of a disability by annulment or adjudication in some of the colonies, in which case there would be no grant of a discharge. Then there might be a composition or an arrangement entered into.

The Hon. E. BARTON: That would be a reason, not for leaving out the words, but for adding others!

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[9.24]: In the Constitution Act of Western Australia, which is the most recent, it is provided that no person shall be qualified for a seat in the Legislative Council or Legislative Assembly if he be an uncertificated bankrupt, or a debtor who has made a deed of arrangement, or who, in any part of her Majesty's dominions, has been attainted or convicted of treason or felony. That is wider than the provision now proposed, because it makes no provision for a man who purges his offence with regard to treason or felony.

Mr. SYMON: Does not the hon. member believe that it ought to be so?

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: I am not expressing an opinion about that; [start page 1022] but I say that there is nothing unreasonable in the proposal contained in this bill. In Victoria, I believe, there is the same provision as I have quoted with regard to Western Australia. This matter was discussed in 1891, and provisions were inserted. I think there was a division, and the question was decided by a large majority. I cannot agree with the hon. member, Mr. Carruthers, in thinking that a person who has become insolvent-

The CHAIRMAN: I will ask the hon. member not to refer to questions of insolvency.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: I would only point out the present provision is much m ore liberal than that contained in the constitution most recently granted, and it is more liberal than the provision in the Victorian act. We cannot go very wrong in accepting this.

Question-That paragraph 3 stand part of the clause-resolved in the affirmative.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 46 (Place to become vacant on happening of certain disqualifications) agreed to.

Clause 47 (paragraph 2). Any person, being a member of the senate or of the house of representatives, who, in the manner or to the extent forbidden in this section, undertakes, executes, holds, enjoys, or continues to hold, or enjoy, any such agreement, shall thereupon vacate his place.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[9.26]: There is a slight amendment I should like to make here, which I think would be an improvement. It has been suggested by Sir Samuel Griffith that after the word "agreement," to make the clause more binding, and I think, perhaps, it is desirable, we

should insert the words, "from any part or share of it, or any benefit or emolument arising from it." I move:

That the paragraph be amended by the insertion after the word "agreement," line 6, of the following words:-"or any part or share of it, or any benefit or emolument arising from it."

Amendment agreed to; paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 47 (paragraph 3). But this section does not extend to any agreement made, entered into, or accepted by, an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty persons, if the agreement is made, entered into, or accepted, for the general benefit of the company.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[9.27]: I think that an addition ought to be made to this paragraph, so as to prevent persons who hold, perhaps, one-third or one-half the capital of a company from being still entitled to sit in parliament. We know perfectly well that the disqualification which is intended to apply to an individual is very often got rid of by that person floating his business into a company and retaining perhaps five-sixths of the capital. That is an evasion of this provision which I do not think ought to be allowed to continue. If it is put in the constitution it will be very hard to get rid of it. I would suggest that some limitation be put on the extent of the capital of the company which a particular individual can hold.

The Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR: How can you draw a hard and fast line of that kind?

Mr. GLYNN: Of course it is very difficult to draw a hard and fast line. On the other hand I think i t is a monstrous injustice that a man may float his private business into a company with a capital perhaps £500,000, hold himself £400,000 worth of that capital, and be entitled to sit in parliament, notwithstanding this provision. It is making fish of one a fowl of another.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: There is another side to that!

Mr. GLYNN: There are generally two sides to a question, and I am discussing the right side. I would suggest whether we ought not to add to the paragraph these words:

And the person holds less than one-twentieth of the capital of the company.

The Hon. J.H. HOWE: That is absurd!

[star

t page 1023] Mr. GLYNN: Does the hon. member think, then, that a person should be disqualified from being concerned in an agreement from which he has a benefit of, perhaps, £20,000 as a private individual, and if he floats that into a company and retains £17,000 out of the £20,000 interest he can still sit in parliament?-or does he think that a man in a colossal concern, or brewery, of the value of £200,000, can float it into a company and retain £150,000 worth of capital, and still maintain his seat in the house, while the man who enters into an agreement with the commonwealth amounting altogether to £1,000, is disqualified to sit in parliament? I think the thing is monstrous. We know perfectly well that in some of the state legislatures persons who control enormous firms which have entered into contracts with the respective states still retain, under the guise of simply being directors of a company, their seats in parliament. I think that that ought to be prevented. At all events, I shall test the feeling of the Committee on the point by proposing the addition of the words I read to the paragraph.

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[9.29]: Before my hon. and learned friend moves his amendment, I want to substitute the word "twenty-five" for the word "twenty," in line 4 of the paragraph. The object of the clause is to prevent individuals making a personal profit out of their public positions; and, following the general exemption, the clause goes on to say that the prohibition is not to extend to an agreement made by an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty

persons, if the agreement is made for the general benefit of the company. In Victoria, by recent legislation, there is what is called a proprietary company-that is to say, a private individual having a business may incorporate his company. It is really a private concern or firm, and as long as it does not exceed twenty-five shareholders, he can have many of the benefits and escape a good many of the liabilities of incorporated companies.

Mr. GLYNN: How does it prevent dummying?

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: It does not prevent it; I want to guard against it. They are called companies, but they are really, in the majority of cases at all events, private concerns.

Mr. WALKER: One-man companies!

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS: They are really one-man companies. I can understand the case of a person in Victoria who is a member of the federal parliament, who would escape if the word "twenty" remains, by floating his business into a proprietary company not exceeding twenty-five persons. He would be able to contract with the Government, and have no disability. If we extend it to twenty-five persons it covers every other colony and Victoria as well.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[9.32]: There is no virtue in numbers. I do not object to twenty-five; I only say there is no more virtue in twenty-five than in twenty. A man may have thousands and tens of thousands of pounds in a company of twenty-five, twenty-six, or thirty, or more persons, and he may have a very small interest indeed in a company of twenty. That, however, would not in the slightest degree influence me one way or the other. It is impossible to draw the line. A man may be the proprietor of a paper company. He may not be able to sell one shilling's worth of paper to the Government, and yet his interest may be infinitesimally small. If we fix the number at twenty-five instead of twenty, it may be on a par with our colonial acts. If we go the full length, we ought to exclude bank shareholders who deal with the Crown through the departments. We cannot draw a hard and fast line in cases like this. If we did, the result would be all kinds of complications.

[start page 1024] The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON (South Australia)[9.34]: I hope we shall amend the clause so as to make the provision something real, instead of the sham and farce it is under existing legislation. I think we can provide against abuse of the provision which occurs every day in connection with colonial legislatures. At present we have in various colonial constitutions this exemption in favour of incorporated companies. What is the result? A private individual who is a representative cannot sell a bag of flour to a government. He cannot, if he is in parliament, contract for the insertion of advertisements in the newspaper of which he is the proprietor, although there may not be more than £5 or a few shillings involved. On the other hand, if the business is big enough to warrant him in floating it into a company, although he practically retains the whole interest himself, he can engage in business arrangements with the government involving hundreds and thousands of pounds. I know of cases in our own legislature, I make no complaint of the action of those who have been concerned in the formation of these companies. I believe they have done good work which has profited the government, and they have every reason to be proud. But I say that the thing in its present condition is absolutely indefensible. We are "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel." Hundreds of thousands of pounds in connections with government work go into the pockets, properly, of government contractors who are members of parliament, who are protected through the formation of their businesses into limited companies. Now, ought that to be so? Surely we cannot justify the continuance of a thing of that sort. Knowing the way in which it is abused, is it not honest either to strike out all limitation, or, at the least, to provide so that the existing condition of affairs shall not be continued, when you catch the smaller man who is not worth catching, and let the big one go free whose operations ought to be dealt with? Under these circumstances, I shall be found supporting the amendment moved by my hon. friend, Mr. Glynn, or any other amendment which will make the thing a substantial reality and not a delusion and a snare. I understand the hon. member, Mr. Glynn, proposes that where there is a substantial interest retained by the member of parliament in the

government contract, whether he acts directly or through the medium of an incorporated company, the same provision shall apply, and he should be penalised and the thing prohibited. We ought not allow a thing to be done indirectly to a great extent which we prohibit when it is done directly in a much less and important degree. The amendment of the hon. member, Mr. Glynn, seems to me to deal with the matter An HON. MEMBER: What is that amendment?

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: It proposes to take away the benefit of this exemption from companies in which a member of parliament holds a substantial interest-say one-twentieth of the whole concern. I should be prepared to go for the striking out altogether of this exemption.

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: So would I!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: If the hon. gentleman will take the sense of the Convention on the point-

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: The right hon. gentleman would make the limitation more stringent; I would make it less stringent!

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: The hon. member would allow all these arrangements between the member of parliament and the federal government to go on, of course taking some care that they were made public. I am not at present prepared to do that, though certainly that [start page 1025] position would be much more logical than penalising the private individual, and exempting the public company-striking at the small transactions, and winking at the large ones. I should like to see the exemption in favour of a company struck out, and, if anything of that sort is moved, I shall be found supporting it.

Mr. HIGGINS: Suppose the federal government keeps some money at a bank, what about the sha reholders of the banking company?

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: You cannot define the nature of the transactions; but it seems to me that it is just as possible to make arrangements which you ought not to make with banking companies as with other companies-arrangements in connection with the handling of money and the depositing of public cash. No doubt arrangements may be made profitable to the state and profitable to the bank; but I think it is a pity that huge transactions of this sort should be going on when any member of parliament is interested in them to any considerable extent. You would not allow it if it were the case of a member of parliament who was the sole proprietor of a business trading in his own name. Why then should you allow it when it is done through the medium of a company in which the member of parliament may retain, practically, the whole of the interest? Under these circumstances, if there be an opportunity-I do not propose to move in the matter myself-to strike out the whole of the exemption in favour of an incorporated company, I shall support the proposal. I would support anything which would have the tendency, which I believe the amendment of my friend, Mr. Glynn, will have-that of limiting these exemptions, and preventing persons from doing indirectly, through the medium of an organisation, that which they cannot do directly. That which by the general provisions of this clause is intended to be prohibited in the case of private individuals ought to be in all cases prohibited when members of parliament are substantially concerned.

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER (South Australia)[9.41]: I think it inexpedient to allow members of parliament to have any contractual relations which might suggest to any one that their position might be impure. But all these precautions which have been taken from time to time arose when things were not done in the broad light of day in the way in which they now are. Nowadays everybody knows something more about every one else's business, unfortunately, than he does about his own. I think it is scarcely necessary that, with the great publicity which we enjoy through the medium of the press, and of which we are all so proud, the publicity which is given to the concerns of all of us, that we should surround ourselves with precautions which operate as a limitation upon the operations of the government rather than produce as a result, the purity of members. As a matter of fact a coach and

four can be driven through this act of parliament, as it can be through all acts of parliament with similar provisions. In making any provision of this kind, you add to the original offence the further offence of duplicity, in that persons do their dirty work through other persons. There is some nominal contractor who is put up-the real motive power being concealed. And so things will go on, and your acts of parliament will become a perfect sham in their working. They will prevent no dishonesty and will become objects of scorn to the whole community. Now, I say that, at a time when we had not so much publicity, when it was thought good enough to look after one's own affairs, and not to bother so much about the affairs of other persons-

An HON. MEMBER: Good old times!

[start page 1026] The Hon. Sir J. W. DOWNER: I expect that they had their demerits, but I think they had their merits too. But when this flashlight is always about us, and when everyone sees everything that every one else is doing publicaly-I make that qualification-what is the good of putting into an act of parliament provisions intended to produce purity, and which can only have the e ffect of producing fraud and deception? I have said in our own House that I think the time has almost come when we should do away with all these provisions. If the matter is looked at honestly and fairly, we limit the power of the Government to make the contract best in their own interests. If they cannot do that, then persons who want to contract with the Government are careful of any contractual relations they have with them. The thing is not done in their name, but it is done in the name of some one else, and as we know, as the Premier of South Australia knows, and he agrees with me to a great extent, in what I am saying, I am sure-as we all know, these things are done, and will be done.

The Hon. S. FRASER: I, do not think they are done to any great extent. That certainly is not the case in our colony, and I know a good deal about it.

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: There it may be from companies.

The Hon. S. FRASER: Not at all!

Mr. SYMON: It is not worth talking about!

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: I do not think there is anything at all in it. I think that you might remove the provision and do no harm, or that you might keep it in and do no good. But I agree with the hon. member, Mr. Fraser, entirely, in saying "that whether you make the number 20 or 25, it does not make much, difference.

The Hon. S. FRASER: It makes no difference at all!

The Hon. Sir J.W. DOWNER: It is a perfect farce to think you make any difference by a limitation of that kind. Neither do I think that the amendment suggested by the hon. member, Mr. Glynn, will make any difference. I do not care whether it is or is not carried. I am satisfied that the clause should stand, but I would be better satisfied if it were struck out, for I think that when we have reached a condition of advancement we should not make provisions which, under the guise of preventing frauds, would limit the powers of the government, and prevent them from making contracts which would be most beneficial to them, except at the expense of driving their contractors to underhand proceedings, which are against the law and injurious to the community.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[9.47]: In the case of large shareholders, such as the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, has mentioned, who have no control of the management, it would be absurd to make them liable to penalties in this manner. A man who was a very large shareholder might be a member of parliament, and he might have nothing whatever to do with the management of the company, he being neither a director nor an official of the company. Of course he would not have in the least degree control over its affairs, and in that ease it would be absurd simply because he had a

large interest in it to make him amenable to this law. But in the case of private persons who are supplying the departments of the government, they, through the various means at their disposal, could influence heads of departments and others who took delivery of goods, and it would be very wrong to open a door of that kind to them.

Mr. HIGGINS (Victoria)[9.48]: I think that if we were to adopt the exclusion of the clause as suggested by the right hon. member, Mr. Kingston, we should be interfering with a large class of distinctly [start page 1027] honest transactions. If we were to leave out this clause it would mean that supposing that I happened to be holding five shares in a hardware company, and it came to be known that that hardware company had sold some fencing wire to any department of the commonwealth I should have to vacate my seat. That is going to an extreme; but at the same time it should be remembered that the one-man companies are often the source of great abuse. I have heard of some cases where a company consisting of one man has been able to get very good contracts from the government whom he supported for the time being. There is one feature in all these one-man companies that may enable you to reach such fellows-that is, that in the one-man company the man who really gets the profits is the managing director or general manager, and he has always got his thumb on the operations of the company, so I think it would be possible to make a limitation on this clause to the effect that it is not to apply to any agreement made and entered into by any incorporated company consisting of more than twenty persons, if entered into for the general benefit of the company, and if the member of the senate or the house of representatives is not a director or manager or official of the company. These companies cannot be carried on for a man's particular benefit unless there is a provision in the articles that he has control of their operations, or unless he is general manager or advising director.

An HON. MEMBER: What is the English law?

Mr. HIGGINS: The English law, apart from express statutes, gives us no protection. There is a broader aspect of this question, and that is, ought we not to give to the federal parliament the power as fraud multiplies to multiply the provisions against it? We cannot make adequate provision in the constitution; but there is no reason why the federal parliament should not be allowed to add to these disqualifications. In clause 31 we say

until the parliament otherwise provides the disqualifications of a member of the house of representatives shall be as follows.

I think, therefore, we should make it clear that the federal parliament should have the right to provide a new disqualification.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON: It will not have that right unless we give it to them expressly!

Mr

. HIGGINS: We ought to give them the right, and I think it is a question for the Drafting Committee to consider whether the clauses, as they stand, allow it. to them. I think that they do; but if they do not we ought to see that this power is given to them. We ought not to define in the constitution what kinds of fraud and misdoing should prevent a man from holding a seat. As we are agreed upon this subject I think the leader of the Convention might make a note of it, and ask the Drafting. Committee to see that power is given to the Federal Parliament.

Amendment (the Hon. I.A. ISAACS) agreed to.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[9.54]: move:

That the following words be added to the clause:-"and the person holds less than one-twentieth of the capital of the company."

I dare say the drafting of this amendment could be improved, but I wish to have the principle affirmed. The practical effect of the amendment will be that if a man holds less than £1,000 worth of shares in a company whose capital is £20,000, or if he holds less than £5,000 worth of shares in a company whose capital is £100,000, he may sit; if he holds more he cannot.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[9.55]: The twentieth of £10,000 would-be only £500, but the twentieth of a millon would be an immense sum, so that the provision would be inconsistent and absurd.

[start page 1028] Mr. GLYNN: Will the hon. member accept one-tenth?

The Hon. S. FRASER: No fractional amount will make sense of the clause, because it all depends upon w hat sum has to be divided. To make sense of it you must state the amount in pounds sterling.

Mr. SYMON: If a man wants to evade it he can easily do so!

T

he Hon. S. FRASER: If a man has nothing to do with the management of a company it does not m atter what interest he has.

Question-That the words proposed by Mr. Glynn be added to the clause-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 7; noes, 26; majority, 19.

AYES.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Walker, J.T.

Dobson, H. Wise, B.R.

Holder, F.W. Teller,

Kingston, C.C. Glynn, P.M.

NOES.

Barton, E. Howe, J.H.

Briggs, H. Isaacs, I.A.

Brown, N.J. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Brunker, J.N. Lyne, W.J.

Crowder, F.T. O'Connor, R.E.

Deakin, A. Quick, Dr. J.

Douglas, A. Solomon, V.L.

Forrest, Sir J. Symon, J.H.

Fraser, S. Trenwith, W.A.

Gordon, J.H. Venn, H.W.

Grant, C.H. Zeal, Sir W.A.

Hackett, J.W.

Henning, A.H. Teller,

Higgins, H.B. Downer, Sir J.W.

Question so resolved in the negative.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 47 (paragraph 4). Any person being a member of the senate or of the house of representatives who, directly or indirectly, accepts or receives any fee or honorarium for work done or services rendered by him for or on behalf of the commonwealth, whilst sitting as such member, shall there upon vacate his place.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council of New South Wales:

Omit the paragraph.

Amendment negatived; paragraph agreed to; clause, as amended, agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN: I will not put the proposed new clauses suggested by the Legislative Council of South Australia-47A and 47B-because there are questions involved in those clauses which have already been decided.

Clause 48 (paragraph 1). If a member of the senate or of the house of Representatives accepts any office of profit under the Crown, not being one of the offices of state held during the pleasure of the governor-general, and the holders of which are by this constitution declared to be capable of being chosen and of sitting as members of either house of the parliament, or accepts any pension payable out of any of the revenues of the commonwealth during the pleasure of the Crown, his place shall thereupon become vacant, and no person holding any such office, except as aforesaid, or holding or enjoying any such pension, shall be capable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of either house of the parliament.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria:

Line 3, after "office," insert "except that of a justice of the high court."

Mr. WISE: Would it not be preferable, sir, to put first the amendment suggested by the Leg islative Council of New South Wales-to omit the second paragraph because it includes the less amendment suggested by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria? If the paragraph is struck out-

The CHAIRMAN: If it is decided that the words shall stand, we can put it. This amendment comes first. We cannot amend the paragraph if the Committee decide that these words shall stand. The object is to permit of a member of parliament acting as a justice of the high court.

The Hon. E. BARTON: If the amendment is agreed to it will make the clause read as follows:-

I

f a member of the senate or of the house of representatives accepts any office-except that of a justice of the high court-of profit under the Crown.

It seems to me a very strange and clumsy proposal. It seems that if a person accepts [start page 1029] any office of profit under the Crown his seat will become vacant; but if he accepts the office of a justice of the high court he shall still hold his seat. I think that must be a mistake-an inadvertence.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON (South Australia)[10.6]: Apart altogether from the question of the phraseology of the clause, which can be altered by the Drafting Committee, what is meant can be easily understood, and I am strongly opposed to it. I do not see for what reason there, should be an exception in favour of a gentleman who is chosen as the justice of the high court, and no exception made in favour of gentlemen who are chosen to other offices.

Mr. WISE: The proper course is to strike out the second paragraph altogether; that is what is intended!

Mr. HIGGINS: The first paragraph is all right, and it ought to apply to judges!

Mr. WISE: Exactly; negative the amendment!

A

mendment negatived; paragraph 1 agreed to.

Clause 48 (paragraph 2). Until the parliament otherwise provides, no person, being a member, or within six months of his ceasing to be a member, shall be qualified or permitted to accept or hold any office the acceptance or holding of which would, under this section, render a person incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a a member.

Amendment suggested by the Legislative Council of New South Wales:

That paragraph 2 be omitted.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[10.7]: I am in favour of the amendment of the Legislative Council of New South Wales. We had considerable debate about this matter in Adelaide, and we had a narrow division. I think some of those who voted in that division afterwards regretted their vote. I do not wish to reiterate the strong arguments which were used against this provision in Adelaide. It is enough to say that it is a kind of provision which leads to the doing indirectly of that which it forbids to be done directly, it is not a desirable thing to insert in any constitution, simply because it is a matter of legislation, and a matter for which the commonwealth has to provide itself. Will hon. members recollect that we refused to insert the suggested new clause of the Tasmanian Parliament to the effect that a member of a house of the parliament of a state should be incapable of sitting in either house of the parliament of the commonwealth, and that the ground of our refusal was that it was not our province to encumber the constitution with a body of laws for the commonwealth, which certainly ought to be more competent than we to make laws for itself? When we remember that that was the reason why we refused to insert a provision of that kind, how much more strongly does such a reason apply here? The other case was one in which there might be some show or reason for saying that it was a constitutional provision. Who can say, however, that this is anything else but a mere matter of law-a mere matter of deciding in what way the commonwealth should deal with the, position of its own members in relation to the acceptance of a certain office. One can understand that a person accepting an office of profit under the Crown should vacate his seat; but to say that no person being a member, or within six months of his ceasing to be a member, should be qualified or permitted to accept or hold any office, the acceptance of or holding of which would render him incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member, means this: The disqualification which would attach to him as a member is prolonged against him after he ceases to be a member. Now that cannot be a question relating to the constitution. It is not a constitutional provision at all. It may find its place in the body of laws the commonwealth may make, and it may be that the common- [start page 1030] w ealth should make a law on the subject. But if it be granted that it is necessary, as well as right, that the commonwealth should make a law on the subject, that is not the slightest reason for putting it in the constitution.

An HON. MEMBER: Is it not the law in some of the colonies now?

T

he Hon. E. BARTON: Yes, they have made laws on the subject. What I say is that it may be a pr oper thing for the commonwealth to make a law on the subject, but that is no reason why we should make a law to bind the commonwealth on the subject. We ought to get rid of encumbering provisions of this sort. If the commonwealth chooses to legislate on the subject, let it, but it is not for us to compel it to do so.

The Hon. J.H. GORDON (South Australia)[10.12]: I think the provision is one which ought to, stand. There is no relation between this question and the question we discussed and settled with regard to dual membership-membership in the federal house and membership in the state house. In that case there was no question of the purity of parliament; the purity of the motives animating the members of the federal parliament could not arise. But this is a question directly affecting the purity of parliament. The only fault I have to find is that the interregnum of six months is too short, I think it ought to be twelve months.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Make it ten years!

The Hon. J.H. GORDON: There is reason in all things, and I think twelve months a reasonable per iod. I think in all the colonies this provision prevails.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: No!

T

he Hon. J.H. GORDON: In nearly all the colonies. and in all the colonies that have had long expe rience of responsible government.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: Does it exist in South Australia?

T

he Hon J.H GORDON: Yes, not by statute but by resolution of the House, and I think the right hon. gentleman will find that it will be desirable to have a similar law in the colony of Western Australia. It is a most wholesome provision, and the reasons for it are patent to every body. During the first session of parliament the commonwealth cannot exercise any control whatever, over the actions of the government, and as I said before, the only fault I have to find is that the inter-regnum is too short.

The Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST (Western Australia)[10.14]: I can see that this provision might act injuriously. Some of the very best men whom you might require to fill high public offices might be members of parliament, and under this clause the area of selection would be restricted. My experience has not been very great, but it has been sufficient to show me that a government has no great desire to give their friends in parliament public positions, as by doing so they would weaken their support.

The Hon, J.H. GORDON: But they could bribe their enemies, which would be worse still!

T

he Right Hon. Sir JOHN FORREST: I do not think we need make this provision at the present t ime. If the federal parliament likes to make the provision, let it do so. I think that, especially in the early days of the commonwealth, it would be unwise to restrict the area of selection especially in regard to judicial offices. I do not want to say anything in favour of legal members of parliament; they can generally do far more than take care of themselves; but it occurs to me that some of the most experienced and able lawyers in these colonies are to be found in members of parliament. No one will deny that, and in the early days of the common- [start page 1031] w ealth I should be sorry to see this clause find a place in the constitution. As time goes on it may be found necessary; if so, the federal parliament can legislate as may be found desirable.

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia)[10.16]: I am inclined to move that the words "or within six months of ceasing to be a member" be struck out. If members wish to strike out the whole paragraph they can do so.

An HON. MEMBER: Strike it out altogether!

Mr

. GLYNN: If that be the wish of the Convention I will not make any proposal, but I would say t his: that in the opening of a commonwealth parliament it is not likely that any member of the ministry would be bribed out of it, and in the filling of a judicial office the government would not be likely to go to members of the opposition.

Th Hon. E. BARTON: That is just where they would go!

Mr. GLYNN: I was about to say that at the opening of the parliament for twelve months or two y ears it is not likely that there would be any opposition or government party. The opposition, therefore, would not exist from which any choice could be made.

Mr. HIGGINS(Victoria)[10.17]: I voted in favour of this clause last time, and no subject has given me greater trouble in deciding how to vote this time than has this particular clause. What I feel is this: that the object is to prevent political appointments. At the same time the danger is infinitesimal as compared with the advantage of having a free selection; and that is where I feel myself in a difficulty. I voted last time in favour of this provision, because I said to myself, "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," and if you apply this rule in Victoria to all officials other than judges and the Agent-General I see no reason why it should not be applied also to these latter officials under the commonwealth. It ought to be applied altogether or not at all. I said to myself, "If you apply this to a man who is an expert draftsman, or to a, surveyor who has been in parliament, it ought to apply to any other functionaries whatever. I cannot draw any line. If you can draw, any line between the two classes I will give way." I felt in that difficulty; but I have come to this conclusion: that it ought not to apply to any official, because the chances of log-rolling are so infinitesimal. Is it likely, as the Right Hon. Sir John Forrest said, that the government would give a good billet to one of its supporters and get him out of the house? I could understand a government giving a billet to a person in consideration of future services; but when you are dealing with past services it is quite a different matter.

An HON. MEMBER: They might want to get rid of a dangerous opponent!

Mr. HIGGINS: It has been said, in the case of the Victorian parliament, that a certain gentleman w as made Agent-General, because he was a dangerous opponent; but I would ask the hon. gentleman, Mr. Holder, whether the danger of that occurring is so great that we ought in this constitution to provide against it, having regard to the way in which you hamper the selection on the part of the government?

Mr. WALKER: It will drive good men out of parliament!

Mr

. HIGGINS: I do not think it will. Honestly, I think that when it comes to a mere question of cha nce one way or the other, a man who wants to serve his country will do so in spite of this clause, no matter what may happen. I was anxious to hear further argument on the clause before dealing with it. As matters at present stand, I must say that the inconveni- [start page 1032] en ces are so great to my mind as to over-ride a possible corrupt case, and, therefore, that I shall vote against the clause.

The Hon. F.W. HOLDER (South Australia) (10.21]: I did not intend to repeat what I said at Adelaide; but it appears to be necessary to point out one or two things. The object of those who support the clause is to prevent parliament from being made a stepping-stone to some permanent government office, and that we should prevent parliament being made such a stepping-stone is, I think, very necessary. I think it is better to remove even the possibility of mischief rather than to grieve afterwards when mischief has been done, because we cannot cure it. I want to put this point in

answer to the argument of the hon. and learned leader of the Convention, which seemed to be a very weighty argument. He said, "Why not leave the matter to parliament? Was there, under ordinary circumstances, any reason for such a step as we propose to take?" Under ordinary circumstances, I think that parliament might very well be left to take care of itself in this matter, and under ordinary circumstances, I would be content to leave Parliament to pass such legislation dealing with this question as it thought fit; but, as I put it in Adelaide, I now put before hon. members this consideration: Almost immediately the commonwealth comes into existence, there will have to be appointed four justices of the high court, a chief justice, an agent-general, and-if we retain, as I hope we shall, the clause providing for an inter-state commission on railways-three or four officials, making nine or ten persons, who will receive very high salaries and occupy very important offices; and I think the fact that, before any legislation can be passed by the commonwealth parliament, there will be those nine or ten offices to fill, demands some action at our hands that would prevent parliament from being made a stepping-stone; and I hope that we shall not be unwilling to take that action now the opportunity presents itself to us. I hope the Committee will determine to keep within the four corners of the bill the clause that was inserted at Adelaide on this question.

The Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR (New South Wales)[10.24]: There is one view of this matter which appears to have been lost sight of in this argument-that is, the interest of the public itself. It is all very well to say that we should not make parliament a stepping-stone to these offices; but suppose that it is in the interest of the country that these appointments should be conferred on particular men who happen to be in parliament, are the hands of the commonwealth to be tied so that it shall not have the opportunity of appointing the best men simply because they happen to be in parliament? An answer to that argument may be, we are so afraid to trust parliament, so afraid to trust the ministry for the time-being, so afraid to trust those distinguished men who maybe appointed to some professional office, either judicial or engineering office, or some office of that kind, that we must embed in this constitution a provision which may probably, in time to come, narrow the selection of the best men for high public offices. That is a supposition that public criticism, the capacity for smelling out jobs, the ingenuity which is displayed in discovering any possible corruption that exists in regard to any great appointment, will not exist in the commonwealth parliament as it does here. It cannot be supposed for a moment that if there is any corruption in regard to the appointment of a high public officer, such as the commissioner for railways, or a judicial officer, it would not be exposed, and the ministry which made it held up to opprobrium. If the person most fitted for the office happens to be in parliament, why should [start page 1033] h e not, in the interests of the public, be appointed, even though he may be the supporter, or a dangerous and inconvenient opponent, of a party? The main consideration is surely the public interest, and considering the large trust which we are placing in the federal parliament, and the enormous powers which we have given them in every direction, we may fairly allow them to administer these matters subject to the criticism of an opposition, and under the eyes of the press and public. It is to this criticism that we must look for the maintenance of the purity of parliament.

An HON. MEMBER: Is there not a provision of this kind in all the constitutions?

The Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR: No. That, to my mind, would be no reason why it should be placed i n this constitution. There is no such provision in the New South Wales law.

Mr. LYNE: I think that a resolution was passed by the Assembly on the subject, though I am not certain. I think it was passed after the late Sir Henry Parkes appointed Mr. Thompson to a position.

The Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR: Such a resolution may have been passed; but I do not remember it. I t is no argument in favour of this provision that one house passed a resolution which no subsequent parliament thought of sufficient importance to embody in an enactment.

The Hon. E. BARTON: Such a resolution could only govern the house that passed it!

The Hon. R.E. O'CONNOR: Yes, of course. It is the interests of the public which we have to cons ider in this matter. If we wish to leave the selection of these high officers as unfettered as possible, we should trust the federal parliament, and leave it to the ordinary operations of the criticism of the opposition and of the press to see that purity is observed in these matters. I think that provision is unworthy, of the constitution, unnecessary, and against the public interest.

The Hon. S. FRASER (Victoria)[10.29]: I am perfectly satisfied that the executive of a new commonwealth would never commence its career by appointing incapable men. Therefore, there is no necessity for the clause. I could easily name men against whom no colony could make the slightest objection. The sphere of selection is very wide, because there are so many men in the six colonies to choose from.

The Right Hon. C.C. KINGSTON (South Australia)[10.30]: Although there is a great deal in favour of the suggestion that this should be left to the federal parliament to deal with as they please, the clause is only of a tentative character. It says that until the parliament otherwise provides this shall be the rule. Now, what is the position? That during the first session of parliament, before in the natural order of things the federal parliament will be called upon to deal with general questions, a large amount of patronage will require to be exercised, much more than at any other stage of the federal history, because, of course, the various departments and establishments will have to be set up. All that this clause says is that at that period, when this protection is most required, unless the federal parliament provides otherwise that shall be the rule. If they do provide otherwise, they can do as they please. But if we err at all it is on the side of safety, throwing around the proceedings of the federal executive a certain safeguard which can be removed at the pleasure of parliament. But until removed it will prevail for the good of the community.

Question-That paragraph 2 stand part of the clause-put. The Committee divided:

Ayes, 10; noes, 19; majority, 9.

[start page 1034]

AYES.

Cockburn, Dr. J.A. Kingston, C.C.

Downer, Sir J.W. Lyne, W.J.

Grant, C.H. Solomon, V.L.

Holder, F.W.

Howe, J.H. Teller,

Isaacs, I.A. Gordon, J.H.

NOES.

Barton, E. Higgins, H.B.

Briggs, H. Lee-Steere, Sir J.G.

Brown, N.J. O'Connor, R.E.

Brunker, J.N. Quick, Dr. J.

Crowder, F.T. Symon, J.H.

Deakin, A. Venn, H.W.

Dobson, H. Walker, J.T.

Forrest, Sir J. Wise, B.R.

Fraser, S. Teller,

Glynn, P.M. Hackett, J.W.

Question so resolved in the negative. Paragraph agreed to; clause, as amended, agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN: The next suggestion is made by the Legislative Council of New South Wales; but, inasmuch as it involves a question already decided by the Committee, I will not put it. It is a suggestion to insert a new clause after clause 48.

Clause 49. If any person by this constitution declared to be incapable of sitting in the senate or the house of representatives, or disqualified or prohibited from accepting or holding any office, site as a member of either house, or accepts or holds such office, he shall, for every day on which he sits or holds such office, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who may sue for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Dr. QUICK (Victoria)[10.37]: I desire to draw attention to the provision which the clause makes for a penalty. At an earlier stage of the bill a provision providing for a penalty for a breach of the law against plural voting was said to be a blot on the bill, and was struck out. In this clause, not only is an offence created, but a penalty is also created in the constitution. If the Committee was right in striking out the penalty against plural voting, I apprehend that this penalty should also be struck out and the clause be reconstructed, providing for a simple prohibition against doing certain acts; because if the rule is good in the case I mentioned I think it ought to be applied all round.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[10.38]: I quite appreciate what my hon. and learned friend has said, and practically it comes to this: we have not thought it well in this constitution to make penal provisions, and therefore, with regard to the one man one vote question, we have left out the words about a misdemeanour, and the words of punishment that follow it. Having done that I think it is quite consistent that we should leave matters of penalties to be provided for by the laws of the commonwealth. I quite accept the suggestion of my hon. friend; but as we will be adjourning in two minutes I will ask him to leave the matter to the Drafting Committee. I will make a suggestion to the Drafting Committee to reduce this clause to a simple prohibition, so that the law of the commonwealth may provide a penalty afterwards.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 50. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, all questions of disputed elections arising in the senate or the house of representatives shall be determined by a federal court or a court exercising federal jurisdiction

The CHAIRMAN: On this clause two amendments are suggested by the Legislative Council of N ew South Wales; but inasmuch as they relate to a matter already decided, namely, the question of federal dominion, I will not put them. The Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, the House of Assembly of South Australia, and the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Tasmania also suggest that the clause should be left out. It involves the same question as has been decided.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[10.40]: In that case I would ask the Committee to leave the clause standing for the present, as it is intimately connected with clauses 21 and 43, and I think also with clause 32. The Drafting Com-

[start page 1035] mittee were asked to take the clauses into consideration together, which they mean to do. We shall deal with it probably in some form on Friday afternoon.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 51. The senate and the house of representatives may each of them from time to time adpot standing rules and orders as to the following matters:

The Hon. I.A. ISAACS (Victoria)[10.41]: Would it be better to strike out the word "standing" so that we may adopt "rules and orders"? I do not know how far the insertion of the word "standing" might cause a limitation. If we omit the word we shall provide for the adoption of sessional orders, or standing orders, or any other kind of rules and orders. The Hon. E. BARTON: I think the word might as well be omitted; there will still be the same power or more.

Amendment (Hon. I.A. ISAACS) agreed to:

That the word "standing" be omitted. Clause, as amended, agreed to.

The Hon. E. BARTON (New South Wales)[10.42]: I move:

That the Chairman leave the chair, report progress, and ask leave to sit again to-morrow.

I may state that tomorrow we shall have to deal with clauses 52 and 53. From that point-with the exception of clause 69 we have dealt with all the intervening clauses until after the end of Chapter II. Our next work, after dealing with clauses 52 and 53, will be with Chapter III relating to the federal judicature.

Motion agreed to; progress reported.

Convention adjourned at 10.43 p.m.