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Thursday, 13 September 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . - I should like to say that not only do I feel myself in no way embarrassed by your ruling this morning that I could not address myself to 'this motion, but I willingly admit that the opportunity I have had of listening to the observations of honorable senators has been to me of material assistance, and the right of reply I have as mover of the motion, in the circumstances, confers on me ai distinct advantage. I hope to summarize the arguments which have been used, and to put the question at issue in a concrete form). I .take it that you have ruled the amendment out of order because it does not come within the title of the Bill as passed on the second reading.

The PRESIDENT - I never said a word about the title, but only about the subject-matter of the Bill.

Senator CLEMONS - Very well, the subject-matter of the Bill. I believe it is agreed that any amendment which imposes a condition upon the Minister might properly be inserted in this Bill, provided only that it is not a condition which is outside the subject-matter of the Bill. I recognise from your ruling, and from the remarks which have been made, that the question has to a certain extent been narrowed down by you to whether an amendment relevant to railway construction can be held to be relevant to a Bill, the subjectmatter of which is to make provision for the survey of a railway.

The PRESIDENT - That is the point.

Senator CLEMONS - I recognise that you rule that it is the point to which you have specially directed our attention, and around which all the discussion has focussed. I desire to draw your attention to several matters which are directly connected with that argument. In the first place, let me point out that the object of the Bill is to authorize the- survey of a route for a railway. Suppose that an honorable senator proposed an amendment to divert the object of the Bill to a survey of a route for a tramway or a roadway, obviously if would be quite proper for you to rule it out of order, because it did not come within the subject-matter of the Bill. Clause 1 says that -

This Act may be cited as the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Act.

To my mind the short title of the Bill connects the question of a survey directly with the question of a railway, and you admit that you have to recognise that the question we are dealing .with is purely that of a survey. I should think that the short title would go a long way to dispel any difficulty from your mind if an amendment were suggested which dealt with the question of a railway as separate from the question of a survey. But I go further than that. This is not merely a Bill to authorize a railway survey, but it contains on its face a clear statement that it authorizes the survey of a route for a specified railway, and that is a line to connect a point in Western Australia with a point in South Australia. It does not say that it is to be a survey of the" country between one point in Western Australia and another point in South Australia, but a survey of a route for a railway from one point to another. Let me mention here, lest it should be overlooked, that the authority you cited this morning does not. to any material extent, support your ruling.

The PRESIDENT - I said I did not think that it was on all-fours, but that it was the nearest one in point I could find.

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