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Wednesday, 21 October 1903

Mr ISAACS (Indi) - I consider that however this vote may be worded it in substance merely proposes to place Mr. Speaker on an equal footing with the President. I quite agree with what honorable members have said as to the departmental duties which Mr. Speaker is called upon to perform. I also agree that the effect of a dissolution of Parliament owing to effluxion of time, would be to deprive Mr. Speaker of equality of position when compared with the President of the Senate. But there is another and more important ground on which the proposed vote ought to be supported. We have to look forward not merely to dissolutions by effluxion of time. There may come a time when in the conduct of the business of the House the Speaker may be required to exercise great firmness - when he should understand that, even if a dissolution were the result of his decision,his position would not be affected by it. It is highly important that he should be placed above any temptation of self-interest in coming to a decision or assuming any attitude in the Chair. It is to our benefit, as well as to the benefit of the country, that on these grounds, Mr. Speaker should be informed that, as long as he is returned at the ensuing election, whenever it may occur, he will not suffer any diminution of salary by reason of his taking a course which he may deem it his duty to follow.

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