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Tuesday, 15 March 1904

Mr SPEAKER - While it was customary last Parliament to move that a petition be received and read, it was also my practice, uponthe request of any one honorable member that I should do so, to put first the question "that the petition be received," which might or might not be carried, and, afterwards, if the petition were received, the question "that the petition be read." All petitions, whether read or not, are passed on to the Printing Committee, and it is for the members of that body, in the exercise of their discretion, to determine whether a petition, or any part of it, shall be printed.

Mr Watson - I understand that the Printing Committee make a recommendation?

Mr SPEAKER - Yes; but so far as I remember, their recommendation has in every case been indorsed by the House. It is not competent for an honorable member to move that a petition be printed unless he declares his intention to take action in the matter, our practice being governed by standing order 91, which says -

No member shall move that a petition be printed unless he intends to take action upon it, and informs the House thereof, and that such action will be taken within fourteen days.

If the honorable member for Bland desires it, I shall put the questions separately.

Mr Knox -i have no objection.

Mr Watson - I wish to read this petition in print, so I shall not object to its being read.

Mr SPEAKER - The question of printing is not involved now. I will put the questions separately.

Questions resolved in the affirmative.

Petition received.

The Clerk proceeding to read the petition,

Mr Page - Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. I desire to ask if the document now being read by the Clerk is a petition or a compendium of arguments against the Bill. It appears to me that the employers, having failed to secure the election of their representatives to Parliament, are now seeking to bring their views before the House by petition.

Mr SPEAKER - So far as the petition has been read, there is nothing in it to which exception can be taken.

Petition read.

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