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Friday, 1 November 1912

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator can make a statement.

Senator Rae - The statement made by the Leader of the Opposition, to which I took exception, was made prior to my statement, and, therefore, in the natural order of things, he should withdraw his statement before I withdraw mine. That was my contention.

Senator St Ledger - That point is not before the President.

Senator Rae - I objected at once to what Senator Millen said. I said that the statement was not true ; he repeated his statement, and then I said it was a falsehood.

Senator Pearce - But then you could have asked the Chairman to intervene.

Senator Rae - That is a mere technicality. I objected to the statement of Senator Millen, and, in the circumstances, I cannot withdraw my statement until he withdraws his.

The PRESIDENT - The Chairman of Committees has reported that in Committee Senator Rae made a statement which he thought was altogether out of order; that he ordered the honorable senator to withdraw the statement, and that, meeting with a refusal, he has reported the matter to the Senate. I have no option but to name Senator Rae to the Senate, and he now has the right to say whether he is prepared to withdraw the statement.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Of course, if Senator Rae likes to withdraw the statement and express regret, that is all right, otherwise I assume that it will be the duty of the Minister to take action.

Senator Pearce - I do not need you to tell me what I ought to do. I think that we should try to avoid taking action, if possible.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould -I agree with the Minister.

Senator Millen - It is with a desire to give effect to the spirit which animated the last few words of the Minister of Defence that I takethe liberty of saying a few words here.

The PRESIDENT - Order ! I would point out to the honorable senator that he is slightly out of order.

Senator Millen - I asked you justnow, sir. if debate was to be allowed, and you did allowit.

The PRESIDENT - I understood, when Senator Rae got up, that he intended to withdraw the statement.

Senator Millen - He did not withdraw the statement, but made a speech.

The PRESIDENT - With the permission of the Senate, the honorable senator may speak.

Senator Millen - I do not want to say anything now.

Senator Rae - I have no intention of withdrawing the statement.

Senator Pearce - I regret that, in the circumstances, I am compelled to move -

That Senator Rae be suspended for the remainder of the sitting.

Senator Chataway - I second the motion.

The PRESIDENT - I call upon Senator Rae now to make a statement, or to offer an apology.

Senator Rae - I have nothing further to say, sir. I decline to apologize. I will not withdraw the statement, because what I said was right, and I should be doing my conscience an injury if I withdrew it.

Senator Gardiner - Is this motion debatable, sir.


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