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Wednesday, 5 September 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - I do not think that Senator Pearce need be apprehensive of any difficulty such as he has suggested. The object of clause 3 is patent. It is to substitute for the existing constitutional term of certain senators, a term six months longer. The provision of the Constitution with regard to a double dissolution - an event which my honorable friend appears to be 'able to speak of with the greatest equanimity - is that the GovernorGeneral shall in certain circumstances dissolve the Senate. He does not under those circumstances take any action which specifically abridges the term of certain senators individually. It is the Senate as a body that is dissolved. No senator holds his position after such a dissolution.

Senator Pearce - Do I understand that in the case of a double dissolution clause 3 would cease to have any effect?

Senator KEATING - Quite so. Section 7 of the Constitution, which provides that a senator shall be chosen for six years, is, of course, subject to the dissolving power of the Governor-General, and this is only an extension of that provision, and is for a like reason subject to the same dissolving power.

Clause agreed to.

Amendment (by Senator Millen) proposed -

That the following new clause be added - "4. This Act shall not be taken to alter the time of the beginning of the term of service of any senator elected in the year 1906."

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