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Friday, 27 October 1905

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) - Since the previous sitting of the Committee, I have decided to submit my proposal, not as a new clause - as I originally intended - but as an amendment to this clause. In. view of a discussion which has taken place on matters which are fresh in the memory of some honorable senators, I do not propose to discuss my proposal at this stage. I move -

That the words " Section twenty-one of the Principal Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following words " be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof : - " Sections twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two of the Principal Act are repealed, and the following section substituted in lieu thereof : - " The Governor-General shall thereupon by proclamation declare the names and boundaries of the divisions and those divisions shall until altered in accordance with this Act be the electoral divisions for the State.' "

Senator Givens - I contend that Senator Millen asks the Committee to repeal sections to the principal Act, which, not being before us in the Bill under consideration, we have no right to appeal. Those sections briefly provide as follows : - That a Commissioner shall be appointed for the purpose of dividing the States into electoral divisions ; that he shall divide them ; that he shall supply a report, with maps, to Parliament within seven days after the .commencement of the following session ; and that Parliament may or may not adopt the divisions submitted by the Commissioner. Parliament has the supreme control as to whether his recommendations shall be accepted or not. Parliament has power absolutely to reject the proposed divisions. Senator Millen proposes that we shall have three Commissioners ; that they shall have the power to cut up the States into electorates or divisions ; and that those divisions shall stand without reference to Parliament. I contend that that is a new principle, and that, in accordance with the rulings of the President with respect to the amendments of Senator Mulcahy and Senator O'Keefe. it is not competent for this Committee to insert provisions embodying a new principle in that way. I should like to quote briefly from the ruling of the President with reference to Senator O'Keefe's amendment. In that case fie said -

But I do say this - that when this Bill was read a second time, it did not contain the important principle that is now sought to be enunciated in it. There was no discussion on that principle. Although Senator O'Keefe mentioned the matter, there was not, I say, any discussion on the principle of his proposed amendment at the secondreading stage.

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