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Monday, 24 September 1906

The PRESIDENT - I would point out that personal" explanations are made by the indulgence, and not by leave, of the> Senate. I take it that there is a distinction between the two things. Where leave of the Senate is asked for, the question is put, and, if no senator objects, leave is granted. Where the indulgence of the Senate is asked for, however, then, unless there is a general feeling to the contrary, an honorable senator is allowed to make his explanation.

Senator GIVENS - I shall not occupy more than a minute. On Saturday^ the Age, in discussing the proceedings in this Chamber in connexion with the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Bill, made the following remarks: -

The outcome of a " caucus " meeting of dissenters was a motion by Senator Givens (W.A.) yesterday for the adjournment of the House " to discuss the desirableness of so arranging the business as to permit of the elections being held at as early a date as possible, without unduly curtailing the right of members to discuss, important Bills involving an amendment of the Constitution.

I claim to have been misrepresented, in so far as it is stated that I moved the adjournment of the House as the outcome of a caucus meeting. No caucus meetings were he!3 by the senators opposed to the measure, and only a few casual remarks were exchanged as thev met in the corridors or the rooms outside the Chamber.

Senator Millen - We had no chance of speaking in the Chamber, so we discussed matters outside.

Senator GIVENS - I moved the adjournment of the House entirely of my own, volition, without consultation with any honorable senator on either side of the Chamber. The only senator who knew of my intention before I had framed my motion was Senator Stewart, and the only senators who were afterwards made aware of the step that I proposed to take were those whom I had to ask to rise in their places to support me.

The PRESIDENT - I have not interfered with the honorable senator, because I know is very natural to wish to make personal explanations such as he has offered. I would point out, however, that personal explanations should be confined to matters in which senators have been mis- represented in the Senate. They would be endless if every newspaper misrepresentation were made the subject of an explanation.

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