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Thursday, 26 October 1905

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) - I ask the Senate to dissent from your ruling on the ground that there is a doubt as to whether the proposed amendment comes within the degree of relevancy which is required by standing order 194. Surely in a case of doubt, the Senate ought to allow honorable senators to move to amend a Bill, provided that the liberty is not in a direction which would be injurious. I am sure that no honorable senator can say that the proposal of Senator O'Keefe was of such a drastic character, or possessed such a degree of irrelevancy, as to in any way abuse the power, which the Senate should have of effectively dealing with proposed legislation. The Senate has agreed to the practice which you laid down in a previous ruling ; but as regards the degree of relevancy of an amendment to the subject-matter of a Bill, I think that you have drawn the line altogether too sharply. I ask the Senate to express its dissent from your ruling, not on the general principle, but in regard to the degree of relevancy which you have attached to this particular proposal.

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