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Wednesday, 20 June 1906

Mr MAHON (COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I wish to ask the Minister of Home Affairs, without notice, a question relating to an answer which he gave yesterday in reference to the possibility of holding the general elections in October next. Does not section 89 of the Electoral Act 1902 provide that writs for a general election are returnable within sixty days after the date of the issue of such writs? Does not section 5 of the Constitution provide that after any general election Parliament shall be summoned to meet within thirty days from the date of return of the writs? If so, would not the holding of a general election on any day in October next involve a meeting of the new Parliament before the end of the present year? Should a new Parliament meet before the end of 1906, will not the persons returned for thefirst time to the Senate at the ensuing election be precluded from sitting therein, seeing that section 13 of the Constitution provides that -

The service of a senator shall be taken to begin on the 1st day of January following his election.

On the other hand, would it not be unconstitutional for senators whose terras expire on 31st December next, and who are not reelected, to sit in a new Parliament to which they were not returned ?

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