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Wednesday, 19 September 1906

Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania) . - I do not wish to be placed in a false position to-morrow. There appears to have been a kind of undertaking given by Senator Clemons.

Senator Clemons - Only for myself.

Senator MULCAHY - If it were not repudiated now, it might be implied that honorable senators were in some way bound by the undertaking. Ordinarily, I would not assist to delay the proceedings of the Senate. If I were satisfied that a majority of the Senate desired to pass the Bill and that it would have their sympathy as well as their votes, I should be willing to let it go, but, not holding that opinion, I believe it is quite right to take any constitutional means possible to prevent its passage.

Senator De Largie - I rise to a point of order. I submit that Senator Mulcahy has passed a reflection upon the votes of cer tain senators in saying that if the Bill were to be passed with their sympathy as well as their votes he would have no objection to offer to its passage. I object to the remark as a reflection upon the supporters of the Bill, and I askfor its withdrawal.

The PRESIDENT - Undoubtedly, according to a standing order, no honorable senator may reflect on a vote of the Senate. If Senator Mulcahy intended to assert that honorable senators have voted improperlythat is, contrary to their convictions - undoubtedly it was a reflection upon their conduct. I do not think that he should make such a reflection.

Senator MULCAHY - I am afraid, sir, that I cannot withdraw the expression of my opinion without being absolutely dishonest. I heard a representative of South Australia say that he would regard the construction of the railway as being absolutely disastrous to the best interests of his State, and yet he voted for it.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator is not discussing the question of suspending the Standing Orders.

Senator MULCAHY - I am not bound by anv promise which Senator Clemons may have given. I shall conceive it to be my duty to take every constitutional means I can to prevent the passing of the Bill - of course, without transgressing the rules of the Senate.

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