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Thursday, 23 August 1906


Mr SPEAKER - I desire to call attention to a point of parliamentary practice which seems to be involved in this case. The custom is that, upon the motion for the second reading of any measure, its general principles, but not its details, are open to discussion. Its details are reserved for consideration in Committee. "Upon the present occasion, however, I have noticed that the Attorney-General, in moving the second reading of the Bill, has devoted more time to the discussion of some clauses which it is proposed to insert at a later stage than to the clauses which are actually' contained in .the measure. His speech, therefore, involved a discussion, not so much of the provisions which are in the Bill, as of provisions which may be inserted. Of course, I was not able to discover this except as sentence after sentence fell from his lips, and therefore I did not feel justified in interfering. As I did not interfere with him, it will be necessary for me to allow every other honorable member the same liberty that he has enjoyed. I should like to say, however, that I do not think that I ought to allow the practice which has been adopted on the present occasion to become a precedent. Upon a second-reading debate I do not think that we ought to permit the discussion chiefly of clauses which are not in a Bill, but which it may be proposed to insert at a later stage. The practice is quite a new one, and I thought that it ought not to be allowed to pass without attention being called to it.







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