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Thursday, 4 October 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I move -

That the ruling of the President be disagreed to.

I have put my dissent in writing. I desire to say at once that I fully recognise your desire to maintain the status of the Senate. My desire is the same, and if I take a course which appears to you undesirable, I can only assure you that, although my methods mav be at fault, my aim is to maintain the full rights and privileges granted to the Senate under the Constitution. I merely desire to direct attention to the second paragraph of section 53 of the Constitution, upon which I base the whole case that I now present to you. The paragraph reads -

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

It is not possible to divide a Bill into two portions. Under that section the Senate has to determine whether or not a measure is a money Bill - not merely whether every line can be covered by that term, but whether an instrument is or is not' a Money Bill. If it is a Money Bill, then the Senate must proceed by way of re quest, and if it is not a Money Bill, by way of amendment. There is nothing in section 53 which gives, us any right or power to deal, by way of direct amendment, with a Bill which you, sir, declared to be a Money Bill. It may be possible that the practice in South Australia which has arisen under an agreement between the two Houses may have been present to your mind, and may have caused you to attach undue importance to the point to which you have given prominence.

Motion (by Senator Playford) agreed to-

That as the matter requires immediate determination, the debate on the motion to dissent from the President's ruling be now proceeded with.

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