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Thursday, 3 July 1941

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) . - I rise to amatter of privilege. I have to report that, in the Tasmanian newspapers just to hand, a very seriousbreach of what I believe to be the profound privileges of this chamber has, in my opinion, been committed. I ask honorable senators to give serious attention to the statement that I am about, to make, because, if action of this kind is allowed to continue, the honour of this chamber is likely, to be still further menaced. I suggest that we should enter an emphatic protest. It will be remembered that the day before yesterday certain ballots took place, and were conducted in secrecy. Yet two organs of the press in Tasmania publicly profess that they know how and by whom the votes were recorded. I shall read first an extractfrom the Launceston Examiner of the 2nd July. The article is somewhat lengthy, and I shall, therefore, quote only the part of it which impugns the honour of the Senate. The quotation reads -

No place has been found in all enlarged Cabinet for a representative of this State. Colonel (now Sir George) Bell relinquished the Speakership, and that plane of honour passed to a mainland member. And yesterday the process of elimination was completed, when Senator Hayes was voted out of the Presidency of the Senate. The three Tasmanian Labour members of that chamber, Senators Lamp, Aylett, and Darcey, placed party before State and voted against Senator Hayes. Tasmanian electors should not forget this point.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I rise to a point of order. Does the honorable senator give an assurance that he intends to move a substantive motion in accord ance withthe Standing Orders? Under

Standing Order 427, he must produce copies of the newspapers referred to and place thorn on the table.

Senator COLLINGS - I am sure that Senator A. J. McLachlan is anxious to assist me in this matter; but his suggestion that I am not aware of what the Standing Orders provide rather interests me.

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - ThenI ask again, on a point of order, whether the honorable senator produces the newspapers in accordance with the terms of the standing order?

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