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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - I agree with the opinion expressed by the Leader of the Senate (Senator Sir George Pearce). Section 21 of the principal act prescribes the conditions under which payments shall be made. May I point out that the long title of this measure is " a bill for an act to amend section 19 of the Financial Relief Act 1934-35." Senator Duncan-Hughes has moved an amendment which in a roundabout way seeks to amend section 21 of that act. For that reason, I consider his amendment is out of order.

Senator Collings - It is not within the scope of the bill.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Surely this is a matter of the payment of a subsidy on superphosphate. Section 19 may be the only one referred to in the bill, but that section relates to the general subject of the subsidy.

Senator Sir George Pearce - The intention of this bill is not to amend the act generally. To enable Senator DuncanHughes to move his amendment, an instruction should have been given to the committee at the second-reading stage.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - It appears to me that clause 2 of the bill refers to a grant of a certain amount of money for purposes of a subsidy on superphosphate, and I consider that it is permissible for the committee to consider the amendment. Does the long title govern every detail of the bill?

Senator Sir George Pearce - It definitely confines the bill to an amendment of section 19 of the principal act.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Yes, but it seems to raise the whole question of the subsidy for superphosphate and to bring in other sections which set out the amount payable. Section 20 for instance deals with the amount payable to each State, and section 21 refers to the conditions of payment. In my opinion, sections 19 to 21 are linked indissolubly.

Senator Sir George Pearce - I direct attention to Standing Order 201 -

Any amendment may be made to any part of the bill, provided the same be relevant to the subject-matter of the bill. . . .

The subject-matter of the bill is to amend section 19 of the Financial Relief Act, and, therefore, the committee has power to deal with that section only. I submit that the amendment is not in order.

Senator Payne - In my opinion the Leader of the Senate has overlooked an important factor. Standing Order 206 states -

If any amendment shall have been made iu the bill, not coming within the original title, such title shall be amended, and a question put " That this be the title of the bill ", and the amendment thereof shall be specially reported to the Senate.

I think that Standing Order contemplates the possibility of an amendment being moved that is not covered by the title.

Senator Sir George Pearce - There is a standing order which enables an honorable senator . to move at the second-reading stage an instruction to the committee to take something else into consideration ; but that has not been done.

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