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Wednesday, 21 July 1920

Mr SPEAKER - Such allegations may be true or they may not, but it appears to me to be quite irregular to discuss that question in this House. Supposing an election petition had been lodged, very clearly it would be out of order to ask this House to discuss or pass judgment upon a matter which is under consideration in an election Court. The same reasoning must apply if the twenty-one days, which is the period within which a petition may be presented, have not lapsed. I think it would be quite out of order for the honorable gentleman to enter into , a discussion as to whether corruption took place at an election when the twenty-one days have not expired within which a petition may be lodged.

So careful was the Speaker to preserve proper relations between Parliament and the Courts that, although in the' case in question an ©lection petition had not been presented, he held it to be absolutely improper to discuss in the House matters relating to the election which might come before the Court for determination. It is a decided principle, and I am showing the extent to which the Speaker carries it out. The facts in the case were clear as they presented themselves to the House at the time, the ruling was given. The matter was before the Court, and the extent to which" the circumstances of the case were to be brought forward could not be known.

Mr Ryan - The Justice of the High Court had already given his decision.

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