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Wednesday, 3 October 1906

Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania) . - I direct the attention of the Government to the great responsibility they are assuming in proceeding with the Bill after having heard the utterances of Senator Baker. It is true that his opinion was not expressed in his official capacity as President, but I cannot distinguish between the words uttered by Senator Baker from the Chair and those uttered by him when standing 3 feet away from his official seat.

Senator Trenwith - Cannot the honorable senator see the difference between an opinion expressed by a Judge on the footpath and an opinion expressed by him on the Bench?

Senator MULCAHY - I can understand the difference between the Pope pronouncing an infallible utterance ex cathedra and expressing an opinion under different circumstances ; but I cannot see a parallel. The opinion that Senator Baker has expressed is that the Bill is unconstitutional.

Senator Playford - The Government will take the responsibility.

Senator MULCAHY - It is a great responsibility under the circumstances. However, it is for the Government to assume it.

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