Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Standing Orders Committee - Senate - Report - Manner of asking questions on notice


Download PDF Download PDF

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA 1969-Parliamentary Paper No. 1

The Senate

REPORT OF THE

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

DATED 4 MARCH 1969

Laid on the Table by th e President and ordered to be printed 5 March 1969

CO'MMONWEAL1'H GOVER !MENT PRINTING OFFICE CANBERRA: 1969

959

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

The President, Senator the Honourable Sir Al ister McMullin, K .C. M.G. (Chairman) The Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator th e Honourable K. M. Anderson The Chairman of Committees, Senator T. C. Drake- Brockman, D.F.C.

Senator J. L. Cavanagh Senator M. C. Cormack Senator R. C. Cotton Senator R. H . L acey Se nator the Honourable R. C. Wright

Printed for the Government of the Commonwealth by W . G. MURJUY at the Government Printing Office, Canberra

96 1

THE SENATE

REPORT FROM THE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

The Standing Orders Committee has considered the manner of asking Questions on Notice.

In the Senate on 4 March 1969, the President (Senator the Honourable Sir Alister McMullin), on a question of order, gave the following ruling: The long established manner of asking Question s on Notice is that, as each Senator is called, he rises to ask the Question standing in his name by reading

its number on the Notice Paper. The practice is the same in the House of

Commons at Westminster. An exception to our practice is when Questions are being broadcast or are to be re-broadcast, when Senators read their Questions in fu ll. In view of our established practice, I suggest that any honourable Senator

wishing to rea-d hi s Question when the proceedings are not being broadcast should as k leave of the Senate.

The Committee has considered a viewpoint that a Senator has a right to read his Question in full, irrespective of whether the proceedings are broadcast or not, and without leave of the Senate. The Committee has also considered the further point that, because le ave must be unanimous , one negative voice

may prevent a Senator reading his Question.

The Standing Orders are not explicit on the manner of asking Questions on Notice. Like many of our other procedures, it has been resolved by practice.

In August 1968, the Committee began a general examination of the manner of asking and replying to Questions. Pending the completion of that examination, it is recommended th at th e established practice in relation to the manner of asking Questions on Notice, as outlined by the President on

4 March 1969, be continued, and that a Sen ator see k leave should he wish to read a Question during the non-broadcast period.

We stress that, should leave to re ad a Question be not granted, that does not necessarily end the matter, because any Senator may thereupon mo ve that so much of the Standing Orders be suspend ed as would prevent leave being granted . Thus, in the ultimate, th e will of the Sen ate prevails-not

th at of any lone negative voice.

We propose th at th e procedure herein recommended be reviewed in the li ght of practice and, in any event, not later th an the commencement of the next Parliament.

Senate Committee Room, 4 Mar h 1969

A. M . McMULLIN , Chairman

[13233 / 69]-H Code: PP 1/ 69