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Thursday, 7 December 1905

Senator TRENWITH (Victoria) - I regret that, in your opinion, I have not sufficiently complied with the Standing Orders, but I thought it was sufficiently specific to say that I proposed to move a motion with a view togive effect to the prayer of the petitioners. The question was submitted as to whether the motion should be considered formal or not formal. It was declared " not formal," and it must therefore be discussed in the ordinary way . If that motion is carried, a definite motion in the terms indicated can be submitted. But if we decide to consider it, I think it would be very much better if we could discuss the matter on a definite motion at once.

Senator Clemons - It has been ruled out of order.

The PRESIDENT - IfSenator Trenwith will say what specific motion he wishes to move, I will then put it to the Senate that he have leave to moye it.

Senator Clemons - That will be a newmotion.

The PRESIDENT - Undoubtedly.

Senator Millen - On a point of order, I understand that you, sir, rule that the motion on the notice-paper which it is the intention of Senator Trenwith to submit is out of order.

The PRESIDENT - What is the motion? I see no motion.

Senator Millen - So far as grammatical construction is concerned, the honorable senator's notice of motion is intelligible in a way. Am I to understand that you definitely rule that, in its present shape, it is out of order?

Senator Playford - I do not think it is.

Senator Clemons - If we are going todisagree with the ruling of the President, it is the duty of some honorable senator to give written notice of that intention.

Senator Playford - It is a commonpractice for honorable senators to ask leave to amend a motion, and for such leave tobe granted. Senator Trenwith can ask leave to amend his motion now.

Senator Clemons -Not if it is out of order.

Senator Millen - Some confusion apparently exists, judging by the remarks of Senator Playford. The honorable senator states that it is a common practice for honorable senators to obtain leave to amend a motion. We can admit that, as applied to a motion which is in order, and properly before the Senate. But the President has ruled that, under standing order 104, this is not a motion, and therefore it cannot be amended. I take it that that is the correct view of the matter, if the President has; not already definitely decided that the motion is not in order.

Senator Clemons - The President has done so.

Senator Millen - If that is so, we are not entitled to further discuss it.

Senator Higgs - I did not understand the President to rule in that way.

Senator Best - Surely the President has not ruled that this is not a motion?

Senator Clemons - The President has done so, and has ruled that it is out of order.

Senator Millen - I wish to be clear ore the point, if I am given an opportunity. If you, sir, have given a ruling in this matter. I and other speakers are not in order in continuing to discuss it. If you have not done so, and hold, as I do, that this motion is not covered by the Standing Orders, the proper course is to rule it out of order. If Senator Trenwith wishes to bring forward a motion, he can only do so by leave of the Senate, or by securing the suspension of the Standing Orders, to enable him to do so.

Senator Higgs - I might be allowed to say that I think that Senator Trenwith has adopted the only course which was open to us. A petition was received, and read the other day, and it could not be taken into consideration on that day. Notice had to be given to take it into consideration on some other day. Senator Trenwith gave that notice - That the petition be taken into consideration on Thursday, with a view to giving effect to the prayer.

Senator Playford - The prayer is for z. duty of 25 per cent, on harvesters.

Senator Higgs - I think that the motion is definite and specific - that the petition be taken into consideration, with a view to the Senate taking such action as may carryout the wishes of the petitioners." Senator Trenwith can make a speech on that motion in just the same way as a Minister can do on a motion that the report in connexion with a Bill be taken into consideration on a certain day.

Senator Clemons - No; the Minister would be in order.

Senator Higgs - Senator Trenwith can do that if the President rules that he is in order in going on with this motion.

The PRESIDENT - Will the honorable senator look at standing order 104?

Senator Higgs - I am aware that the standing order quoted has reference to an honorable senator giving notice in general terms, and provides that he shall afterwards state the terms of his motion.

Senator Clemons - That is a condition which must be complied with.

Senator Higgs - If an honorable senator gives notice that a Select Committee be appointed, and the motion is carried, some further motion is necessary. If Senator Trenwith's motion is carried, a further motion will be necessary to supplement it.

Senator Clemons - Has Senator Trenwith delivered a 'fair copy of his motion, and complied with the conditions of standing order ^104?

Senator Higgs - I submit that he has done so.

Senator Clemons - Where is it?

Senator Higgs - It appears on the businesspaper.

Senator Clemons - That does not comply with standing order 104.

The PRESIDENT - I am very much afraid that I shall have to rule that there is no specific motion on the notice-paper which can be moved. I should very much like to be able to give Senator Trenwith an opportunity to move a motion, but I think that, as the honorable senator has himself stated, he has overlooked standing order 104. Under that standing order he ought, to have given specific notice of the motion' he proposes to move. I may say that this, standing order has been complied with on a great many occasions. Senator Neild has given a great many notices of motion in general terms, but he has always subsequently given twenty-four hours' notice to the Clerk of the specific motion he intended to submit.

Senator Higgs - And those motions have been moved day after day for months.

The PRESIDENT - That is not the point. Notice in general terms has been given,, and subsequently specific notice of motion in pursuance of standing order 104. Senator Trenwith should have done the same. I suggest that the honorable senator should ask leave of the Senate to move a motion, which he can indicate.

Senator TRENWITH(Victoria). - I would urge, first of all, that this is the first occasion on -which I have given notice of motion in general terms. Whether I' am right or wrong, it will be admitted that the matter with which I propose to deal is one of great urgency, and, in the circumstances, I ask to be allowed to give specific notice of motion now.

Senator Millen - Why not give it for tomorrow ?

Senator Clemons - Why not for next Thursday ?

Senator TRENWITH - Because next Thursday is next Thursday, and consequently a week further ahead. I am entirely in the hands of the Senate. My oversight might be easily excused. I believed that I had given a sufficiently specific notice of motion, and I am aware that other honorable senators held the same views, because they spoke to me of the opportunity afforded to discuss the question to-day. In view of the circumstances, I therefore ask that the Standing Orders may be suspended in order that I may put myself in order, and the motion I propose to move is -

That, in the opinion of the Senate, it is desirable that Parliament should grant the prayer of the petitioners.

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