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Thursday, 4 October 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . - This is the complement of the Customs Tariff (Agricultural Machinery) Bill.It will be noticed that many of its provisions must necessarily be read in conjunction with the Customs duties on stripperharvesters, which are sought to be imposed in the other Bill. I wish to direct my criticism, first, to its contents, and, secondly.' to the effort to produce legislation of a character which would be extraordinary in any session except the present. The provisos to clause 2 bring up in an aggravated form the question of tacking. If there is any honorable senator who has a doubt or misgiving as to whether tacking could be discovered in the other Bill, it must be entirely dispelled when he carefully considers all that follows on clause 2 of this Bill. I do not think it is possible for any one to say that the Bill does not attach conditions which have no reference to the imposition of Excise duties. If we want to search for the conditions we have the opportunity of analyzing and considering at least six paragraphs, which do not represent the imposition of a duty, but an attempt to enact conditions which might properly form the subjectmatter of a special Bill. In spite of all that transpired in connexion with the other Bill, I shall be bound, when the opportunity arises, to raise the question as briefly as I can. because I recognise that no one can say that tacking is not discernible at the first glance at this Bill. If it is adopted as it stands, we shall certainly begin a procedure, which would be wholly novel in my session except the present. When I raise the point I shall have to consider the extraordinary position in which the Senate finds itself, and which, I believe, is largely due to the honest efforts of some honorable senators to see that the Senate asserts its rights. This is a Bill which will probably provoke strong party feeling. If, in pursuance of theruling which has been given on the subject of amendments and requests, an amendment is moved upon thisBill, and carried, the whole Bill will be in danger. It seems to me to be utterly wrong that weshould be put in the position of being unable to effect improvements in the Bill except by way of request.

Senator Trenwith - That is the constitutional position.

Senator CLEMONS - I suppose I may allude to what took place yesterday upon the Bill with which we were then dealing?

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