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Thursday, 17 March 1904

Mr McLEAN (Gippsland) - I move-

That the method of election of the Chairman of Committees of this House shall be open exhaustive ballot.

If the members of this House were all old politicians it would be unnecessary for me to make any explanatory remarks; but, for the information of those who have recently entered the House, I would mention that in proposing an exhaustive ballot my desire is that, instead of our proceeding to a division after the nomination has been made, every honorable member shall have a paper handed to him bearing the names of the candidates.

Mr Thomas - Why not have a division ?

Mr McLEAN - If there were only two candidates the position would be different.

Mr Thomas - The position would be the same if there were three.

Mr McLEAN - No. In that event the candidate whose name was first submitted would be opposed by the supporters of the other two. . I propose that the successful candidate shall be elected by an absolute majority of honorable members voting, and that if there are more than two the honorable member receiving the lowest number of votes shall stand aside so that the House may proceed to make a final selection.

Mr Cameron - If there were only two candidates it would be unnecessary to adopt the system proposed by the honorable member.

Mr McLEAN -Inthat event I should be quite prepared' to see the House go to a division.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I can assure the honorable member that the Opposition do not propose to nominate a candidate. If more than two honorable members were nominated for the position it would then be open to the honorable member to submit this proposal.

Mr McLEAN - In view of the honorable member's assurance it is unnecessary for me to press the motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. McLEAN(Gippsland). - I move -

That the honorable member for Laanecoorie, Mr. Charles Carty Salmon, be appointed Chairman of Committees of this House.

It is unnecessary for me to speak at any length in support of the motion. I may say, however, that I have closely watched the honorable member's career from the time that he first entered the Victorian Legislative Assembly, and that I have also had the advantage of his counsel in Cabinet. I have likewise observed the manner in which he has, from time to time, discharged the duties of Deputy Chairman, and I have no hesitation in saying that, in my opinion, he posseses all the qualifications that are necessary for the effective performance of the duties of Chairman. I believethathe has the requisite amount of firmness, courtesy, and tact, and that if he be selected he will conduct the deliberations of the Committee with dignity, despatch, and thorough impartiality. In view of the fact that the honorable member acted as one of the Deputy Chairmen of Committees in the last Parliament, it is unnecessary for me to say more. I believe that his fitness for the position will commend itself to the judgment of honorable members much more effectively . than would any argument I might advance in support of his candidature.

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