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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I do not think that there is a very great deal of dif ference between the words; but I . consider that "fluently" is preferable to "intelligibly."

Senator Sayers - A man may be fluent, but not intelligible.

Senator PEARCE - I take it that " intelligibly " means that a candidate shall be able to speak English sufriciemly to convey his meaning to the intellect of a listener.

Senator Sayers - A fluent man might not do that.

Senator PEARCE - He would do that in every case.

Senator Sayers - No; very often a fluent man hides his meaning.

Senator PEARCE - What is meant isthat a man shall be able, not to speak " pigeon " English fluently, but to speak English fluently. Under the amendment, a man might be able to speak "pigeon" English intelligibly. One might be able to understand what he said, but, for all that, one could not say that he spoke English fluently.

Senator Millen - Do you want seamen, or orators ?

Senator PEARCE - Occasionally you want orators. When it is a question of giving a signal or an order, a man needs to be able to speak with all the clearness, of an orator, especially in a time of danger. I think that the word "fluently" is sufficient, and I propose to stand by it.

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