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Standing Orders Committee - Senate - Report - Dated 17 November 1965 and amendments recommended


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1964-65

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

The Senate

REPORT FROM THE

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE DATED 17TH NOVEMBER, 1965

Laid on the Table by the President, and ordered to be printed, 25th November, 1965

[Cost of Paper:-Preparation, not aiven; 693 copies; approximate cost of printing and publishini, £!30)

Printed and Published for the GOVERNMENT of the COMMONWEALTH OF AusTRALIA by A. J. ARTHUR, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra (Printed in Australia)

No. 244 [GRoUP HJ.-F.l5071/65.-PRICE 35c (3s. 6d.)

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REPORT FROM THE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

The Standing Orders Committee has considered the Standing Orders and recommends­ (a) That the amendments as set out in the Appendix hereto be adopted by the Senate; and (b) That the Standing Orders, with such amendments as are agreed to by the Senate,

be reprinted.

17th November, 1965.

A. M. McMULLIN, Chairman.

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MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

The President, Senator the Honourable Sir Alister McMullin, K.C.M.G. (Chairman) The Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator the Honourable S. D. Paltridge 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 A. Hendrickson Senator J.P. Toohey Senator R. C. Wright

APPENDIX.

STANDING ORDERS.

REC01[1IENDED BY TIIE

STANDING ORDERS COJ\IlNfiTTEE.

(NoTE.-Words to be omitted are shown in italic type; words to be inserted, and new Standing Orders, are shown in bold type.)

S.O. 1, par. (c).-Commissioners from Deputies appointed by His Excellency the Governor- Comm_is.ionm General shall then be introduced bv the usher of the Black Rod to Depuhes mtroduccd. the Senate Chamber. ·

REMARKS.-" Deputies" is a more appropriate title than "Commissioners", because the word "Deputy" or "Deputies" IS the expression used by the Governor-General in the Commission to the High Court Justice appointed.

S.O. 1, par. (d).-The Senior Commissioner Deputy shall direct the usher of the Black Rod House of to desire the attendance of the Members of the House of

Representatives to hear the Commission read. REMARKS.-" Deputy" is a more appropriate title than " Commissioner ".

S.O. 1, par. (f).-The Senior Commissioner Deputy shall then inform the Members of Cause of callina both Houses that His Excellency the Governor-General will at a future time declare the cause of his calling Parliament together. REMARE:S.-" Deputy" is a more appropriate title than "Commissioner".

S.O. 2, par. (!).-

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Commissioners from Deputies appointed by His Excellency the Governor- r:oceeding, on rhe General shall then be introduced by the Usher of the Black Rod to the Senate Chamber. Deputies" is a more appropriate title than" Commissioners".

S.O. 2, par. (h).-The Senior Commissioner Deputy shall then inform the Senate that Proceeding' on the His Excellency the Governor-General will at a future time declare the cause of his calling Parliament together. R.lllAI.E:S.-" Deputy" is a more appropriate title than " Commissioner".

S.Q. 28A.-The President shall nominate at the commencement of every ,S'cssion Temporary Chairmen. Parliament a panel of not less than two Senators who ma v act as temporary Chairmen of Committees when requested so do by

the Chairman of Committees, or when the Chairman of Committees is absent. Jllll.AU::I.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for nominating the panel sessionally and it would bo more convenient if the panel were appomted for the duration of each Parliament.

President relieYOd by a Temporary Chairman.

Unavoidable ah•encc of the Clerk.

Standing Orders Committee.

6

.New S.O. 31A.-During the unavoidable absence of the Chairman of Committees, the President may call upon any one of the Temporary Chairmen of Committees to relieve him temporarily in the Chair, without

any formal communication to the Senate. REMARKs.-This would obviate the necessity of moving, at the commencement of each Session, a motion in terms similar to the proposed Standing Order.

s.o. 32.-In case of unavoidable absence or illness of the Clerk, his duties shall be performed by the Clerk-Assistant Deputy-Clerk, or, should the latter be absent, by the Clerk-Assistant. REMARKS.-This is a necessary amendment to bring the Standing Order into line with practice.

s.o. 33.-A Standing Orders Committee, to consist of the President and Chairman of Committees and seven Senators, shall be appointed at the commencement of each Session Parliament, with power to act

during Recess and to confer with a similar Committee of the House of Representatives. REMARKs.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for appointing the Committee sessionally and it would be more convenient if the Committee were appointed for the duration of each

Parliament.

New S.O. 33A.-

Privlte"es Committee. A Committee of Privileges, to consist of seven Senators, shall be

Library Committee.

House Committee.

Printing Committee.

appointed at the commencement of each Parliament to inquire into and report upon complaints of breach of Privilege which may be referred to it by the Senate. RllMARll:s.-The advantage of such a Standing Committee is that the Senate would be in a

position to deal speedily with any Question of Privilege which might arise.

s.o. 34.-A Library Committee, to consist of the President and six Senators, shall be appointed at the commencement of each Session Parliament, with power to act during Recess, and to confer or

sit as a Joint Committee with a similar Committee of the House of Representatives. REMARICS.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for appointing the Committee sessionally and it would be more convenient if the Committee were appointed for the duration of each

Parliament.

s.o. 35.-A House Committee, to consist of the President and six Senators, shall be appointed at the commencement of each Session Parliament, with power to act during Recess, and to confer or

sit as a Joint Committee with a similar Committee of the House of Representatives. REMAR!Cs.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for appointing the Committee sessionally and it would be more convenient if the Committee were appointed for the duration of each

Parliament.

s.o. 36.-A Printing Committee, to consist of seven Senators, shall be appointed at the commencement of each Session Parliament, to which shall stand referred all Petitions and Papers presented to the Senate, or

laid upon the Table, the Committee to report from time to time as to what Petitions and Papers ought to be printed, and whether wholly or in part: Provided that when a Paper has been laid on the Table, a Motion may be made at any time, without notice, that the Paper be printed. The Committee shall have power to confer or sit as a Joint Committee with a similar Committee of the House of Representatives. R!MARKs.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for appointing the Committee sessionally

and it would be more convenient if the Committee were appointed for the duration of each Parliament.

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S.O. 36A.-(l.) A Standing Committee, to be called the Standing Committee on Regulations and . R 1 ' d O d' h Jl b • d h Ordmance. Comm•ttee. egu atwns an r mances, s a e appomte at t e com-mencement of each Session Parliament.

(2.) The Committee shall consist of seven Senators chosen in the following manner:-(a) The Leader of the Government in the Senate shall, within four sitting days after the commencement of the Ses­

sion each Parliament, nominate, in writing, addressed to the President, four Senators to be members of the Committee.

(b) The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate shall, within four sitting days after the commencement of the Session each Parliament, nominate, in writing, addressed to the President, three Senators to be members of the Com­

mittee.

(c) Any vacancy arising in the Committee shall be filled after the Leader of the Government or the Leader of the Opposition, as the case may be, has nominated, in writing addressed to the President, some Senator to fill the vacancy.

(3.) The Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, and to sit during Recess; and the quorum of such Committee shall be four unless otherwise ordered by the Senate.

(4.) All Regulations and Ordinances laid on the Table of the Senate, except those of the Northern Territory and of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, shall stand referred to such Com­ mittee for consideration and, if necessary, report thereon. Any

action necessary, arising from a report of the Committee, shall be taken in the Senate on motion after notice. REMAII.KS.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for appointing the Committee sessionally and it would be more convenient if the Committee were appointed for the duration of each

Parliament. The amendment to paragraph (4.) is recommended by the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. It is proposed that the Committee be relieved of the duty of examining Regulations and Ordinances of the territorial legislatures, because such legislation is made by legislatures consisting of elected representatives and nominated members and resolved

upon after public debate.

s.o. 38.-A Committee, to be called " The Committee of Disputed Returns Disputed RetW'IU ond and Qualifications", to inquire into Md report upon all questions ... as to the qualification of a Senator chosen or appointed in

accordance with section 15 of the Constitution or as to the validity of such choice or appointment, and as to the vacation of his seat by any Senator, shall be appointed at the commencement of each session Parliament in the following manner:-

(a) The President shall, within four sitting days from the com­ mencement of the Session each Parliament, lay upon the Table his warrant appointing seven Senators to be such Committee.

(b) Unless disapproved of by a resolution of the Senate in the course of four sitting days next after the laying of the warrant on the Table, such warrant shall take effect as an appointment of such Committee by the Senate.

Such Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers, and records. The President shall fix the time for the first meeting of the Committee. Four to form a quorum. REMAII.It5.-Nothing is gained by the present provision for appointing the Committee sessionally

and it would be more convenient if the Committee were appointed fo r the duration of each Parliament. The amendment to " sitting days " in paragraph (a) is merely a drafting amendment.

Senate only adjourns by its own Resolution, with exceptions.

Motion for Adjournment to debato matter of urgency.

Limitation of time of speaking.

Whole discussion not to exceed three hours.

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s.o. 61.-Except in the cases mentioned in Standing Orders Nos. 30, 54, 56, 57, 58 Standing Order No. 30, and in Standing Orders Nos. 54, 56, 57 and 58 when the President adjourns the Senate without

putting a Question, the Senate can only be adjourned by its own Resolution. REMARKS.-This is a drafting amendment only. In the case of S.O. 30, the President and the Chairman of Committees are both absent, so that the President cannot adjourn the Senate.

s.o. 64.-(1.) A Motion without Notice, that the Senate at its rising adjourn to any day or hour other than that fixed for the next ordinary meeting of the Senate, for the purpose of debating some matter

of urgency, can only be made after Petitions have been presented and Notices of Questions and Motions given, and before the Business of the Day is proceeded with, and such Motion can be made notwithstanding there be on the Paper a Motion for adjournment to a time other than that of the next ordinary meeting. The Senator so moving must make in writing, and hand in to the President before the time fixed for the meeting of the Senate, a statement of the matter of urgency. Such motion must be supported by four Senators rising in their places as indicating their approval thereof. Not more than one such Motion can be made during a sitting of the Senate. (2.) In speaking to such Motion, the mover and the Minister first

speaking shall not exceed thirty minutes each, and any other Senator or the mover in reply shall not exceed fifteen minutes, and every Senator shall confine himself to the one subject in respect of which the Motion has been made. Provided that the whole discussion on the subject shall not exceed three hours. REMARKS.-The amendment brings the Standing Order into line with practice, because for many

years practice has f(quired that a Senator shall hand in to the President, before the time fixed for the meeting of the Senate, a staterrent of the matter of urgency. Past Presidents have so ruled.

s.o. 75.-

Business interrupted by Sessional Order.

Such Quesliotu not to involve argument, nor inference nor imputation mad1.

RulM for Oueatlono.

If any Business before the Senate, or a Committee of the Whole, be interrupted by the operation of any Sessional Order, such Business may be dealt with at a later hour of the day, or shall appear be set down on the Notice Paper for the next day of sitting at the end of Government or General Business, as the case may be. REMARKS.-This is a drafting amendment which brings the language of the Standing Order

into line with other Standing Orders-compare S.O. 161.

s.o. 99.-In putting any sur:h Question, no argument or opinion shall be offered, nor inference nor imputation made, nor any facts stated, except so far as may be necessary to explain such Question; and the

President may direct the Clerk to alter any Question so as to conform with this Order.

The following rules shall apply to Questions:­ Questions shall not contain-(a) statements of fact or names of persons unless they are strictly necessary to render the question intelligible

and can be authenticated; (b) arguments; (c) inferences; (d) imputations; (e) epithets; {f) ironical expressions; or

(g) hypothetical matter.

Questions shall not ask-(a) for an expression of opinion; (b) for a statement of the Government's policy; or (c) for legal opinion.

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Questions shall not refer to-(a) debates iH the current Session; or (b) proceedings in Committee not reported to the Senate.

Questions shall not anticipate discussion upon an Order of the Day or other matter which appears on the Notice Paper.

The President may direct that the language of a Question be changed if it seems to him unbecoming or not in conformity with the Standing Orders of the Senate. REMARKS.-This amendment would incorporate in substance in the Standing Orders the rules set

down on the back of the Senate Notice of Question paper. The language of the latter part of S.O. 99, which relates to the President's authority to amend notices, has been brought more in line with other Standing Orders--compare S.O. 112.

s.o. 115.-No Senator shall, unless by leave of the Senate, or unless it be other- No Motion t? be made ' ' 11 'd d b S d' Q d k M · Wtthout prevtous w1se spec1a y prov1 e y the tan mg r ers, rna e any otwn, Notice. except in pursuance of Notice openly given at a previous sitting

of the Senate, and duly entered on the Notice Paper. REMARKs.-This is a drafting amendment only.

s.o. 116.-Motions shall have precedence each day according to the order in which they appear on the Notice Paper, and if called on and not ofMouons. dealt with prior to the adjournment of the Senate shall disappear Lapsed Motions.

be withdrawn from the Notice Paper. REMARKs.-This is a drafting amendment to improve the language of the Standing Order.

S.O. 118.-Whenever a Matter or Question directly concerning the Privileges Precedence of .. of the Senate, or of any Committee or Member thereof, has Quesuon of Pnvtiege. arisen since the last sitting of the Senate, a Motion calling upon the

Senate to take action thereon may be moved, without Notice, and shall, until decided, unless the Debate be adjourned, suspend the consideration of other Motions as well as Orders of the Day. : Provided that precedence over other Business shall not be given to

any motion coucerning Privilege if, in the opinion of the President, a prima facie case of breach of Privilege has not been made out or the matter has not been raised at the earliest opportunity. (See also Standing Order No. 426.) REMARKS.-The addition of the proviso would import into rules the practice of the House

of Commons and of the House of Representatives. It would mean that, if the President were not satisfied that a prima facie case of breach of privilege had been made out, or raised at the earliest opportunity. consideration of the matter of privilege would not be entitled to precedence and any further consideration of the proposed question would have to be by

motion upon notice in the usual way.

s.o. 119.-A Motion disallowing for the disallowance of a Regulation shall take Precedence of Motion precedence of Government and General Business. disallowing Regulation.

REMARKs.-This is a drafting amendment only.

).0. 123.-A Motion not seconded shall not be further debated, and no entry Motion not seconded. thereof shall be made in the Journals. REMARKS.-It is considered that there is no good reason why a motion, not seconded, should

not be recorded in the Journals. because S.O. 40 provides that all proceedings shall be noted by the Clerk and shall constitute the Journals of the Senate. Hansard records proceedings on a motion not seconded, and it is considered that it is illogical that such record should not be found in the Journals, which are the official record of proceedings in the Senate.

s.o. 14\.J.-An Amendment proposed but not .1econded slza!l not be entertained Amendments must by the Senate, nor entered in tlze Journals. be •econded.

An Amendment proposed but not seconded shall not be further debated. R!WARICS.-This Standing Order must be considered in relation to what is done with S.O. 123. If, in relation to S.O. 123, it is considered that motions not seconded should be entered in the Journals, then it follows that amendments not seconded should also be entered in the

Journals.

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How Division may be called for.

When Divisions may be called for.

SlranglfJ withdraw.

Words taken down in Committee.

n;Iatory Motions: limjt as to.

ETidence not to be disclosed.

10

s.o. 164.-Whenever the President states, on putting a Question, that in his opinion the Ayes or the Noes (as the case may be) have it, his decision opinion may be challenged by Senators calling

" Divide ". REMARKS.-This is a drafting amendment which brings the language of the Standing Order into line with practice.

s.o. 168.-A Division cannot be called for, unless more than one voice has been given for the Ayes and likewise for the Noes. Provided that in such case the one Senator calling for a Division shall be entitled to have

his vote recorded in the Journals. R EMARKS.-This amendment affords an individual Senator the right to have his vote recorded. Moreover, it should be considered in relation to the Committee's recommendations regarding Standing Orders 123 and 140; th at is, if it is considered that motions and amendments not

seconded should be recorded in the Journals, it is consistent to allow one Senator calling for a Division to have his vote recorded.

s.o. 172.-Previously to any Division, Members of the House of Representatives and Strangers shall, if ordered, withdraw from below the Bar. REMARKS .- This Standing Order applied when the Senate held its sittings at Parliament House,

Melbourne. The Standing Order now has no application, owing to the construction of the present Senate Chamber.

s.o. 271.-The Chairman shall direct words objected to to be taken down, in order that the same may be reported to the Senate. When any Senator objects to words used in debate, and desires them

to be taken down, the Chairman shall direct them to be taken down by the Clerk accordingly: Provided that this Standing Order shall be applied only for the purpose of protecting Senators from objectionable, offensive and disorderly expressions. REMARKS.-The redrafting of the Standing Order would bring its language into line with S.O.

423 The proposed proviso to the Standing Order incorporates President Cunningham's ruling No. 13, which states:-" The purpose of Standing Order 423 is to protect Senators from objectionable, offensive and disorderly expressions, and it should be applied for that purpose only. The reading of such words must be followed by an explanation, withdrawal, or apology by the Senator concerned."

s.o. 281.-Motions "That the Question be now put", "That the Chairman do report progress and ask leave to sit again", and "That the Chairman do now leave the Chair", shall be moved without

discussion, and be immediately put and determined, provided that a vote on the Question " That the Question be now put " shall require at least thirteen twenty-one affirmative votes, and no Motion mentioned in this Standing Order shall be repeated within fifteen minutes of any of these Motions having been negatived: Provided that the Senator in charge of a Bill or Resolution, or a Minister of the Crown, may at any time move to report progress and ask leave to sit again. REMARKs .-The 13 vo tes stipulation (one more than a quorum) was fixed when the Senate

numbered 36. With the increase in th e number of Senators to 60, it is desirable that this voting stipulation be adjusted. The purpose of voting stipulations such as this is the protection of the minority.

s.o. 308.-The evidence taken by any Select Committee of the Senate, and documents presented to such Committee which have not been reported to the Senate, shall not be disclosed or published by

any member of such Committee, or by any other person. REMARKS.-The proposed amendment is to leave out the comma (first occurring) and insert a comma after " Committee " in line 2 of the St anding Order. On a strict interpretation as at present punctuated, the Standing Order provides that

evidence taken by any Select Committee shall not be disclosed. The intention, however, is considered to be that evidence shall not be disclosed before report to the Senate-as is pro­ vided by the Standing Order in regard to documents presented to the Committee. This error of punctuation appears in some of th e Standing Orders of the States, but not in others.

The correcti on of the punctuation, as proposed. will properly convey the intention of the Standing Order.

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s.o. 318.-Payment, upon the decision of the Committee, may be made according of certain h fi ll

. l J", . l I w· d Witnesses before to t e o owzng sea e to any pro1 esszona or ot 1er 1tnesses, regar committees. being had to the scale of witnesses' expenses prescribed by High Court Rules, or to persons whom the Committee may deem it necessary to employ in furtherance of the inquiry with which the Committee is charged; and the Chairman's certificate on the face

of an account shall be sufficient authority for its payment by the Clerk of the Senate.

Attendance for professional witness

Attendance of ordinary witness, per day Travelling Expenses (if more than six miles),

£ s. d.

At the discre­ tion of the

Committee. 0 10 6

per mile each way 0 0 6

Hotel and other expenses, per day, lOs. 6d., unless the

Chairman certifies to a larger amount, not exceeding 15s. Additional compensation for loss of time in certain cases and special payments shall be determined by the Committee. REMARKs.-The scale of payments was adopted in 1903. The proposed amendment would

permit Committees to exercise discretion in fixing the rate of payment to witnesses, con­ sistent with the scale of witnesses' expenses prescribed by High Court Rules.

s.o. 332.-An Instruction can be given to a Committee of the Whole on a Bill to Instruc.tion to amend an existing Act, to consider amendments which are not of tho relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill, but are relevant to the

subject-matter of the Act it is proposed to amend, provided that such motion shall be carried by at least fifteen twenty-three affirmative votes. REMARKS.-The 15 votes stipulation (three above a quorum) was fixed when the Senate numbered

36. With the increase in the number of Senators to 60, it is desirable that this voting stipu­ lation be adjusted. When this Standing Order was adopted in 1905, it was considered that the 15 affirmative votes stipulation was a safeguard against business being taken out of the hands of Ministers.

s.o. 335.-Every Message from the Senate to the House of Representatives shall Messages to be signed be in writing, or partly in writing and partly in print, signed by the President or Deputy-President, and delivered by the Clerk or

Clerk-Assistant a Clerk at the Table or the Usher of the Black Rod. REMARKS.-These amendments give effect to the practice that, in the absence of the President, the Deputy-President may sign a Message to the House of Representatives, and that it may be delivered by a Clerk at the Table or the Usher of the Black Rod.

s.o. 337.-Every Message from the House of Representatives shall be received Messages from the . • h d l b h Cl k A · h B h ·1 h S . House ,of Representatives Wlf OUt e ay y t e er - SSlStant at t e ar H' I e t e enate lS received by Clerk-sitting, and be reported by the President as early as convenient, and Assistant.

a future time named for its consideration; or it may, by leave, be dealt with at once.

Every Message from the House of Representatives shall be received, if from the the Senate is sitting, at the Bar by a Clerk at the Table, and, if the Representatives. Senate is not sitting, by the Clerk of the Senate, and shall be reported by the President as early as convenient, and a future time named for its consideration; or it may, by leave, be dealt with at once. REMARKS.-This amendment gives effect to the practice that Messages may be received by the

Clerk even if the Senate is not sitting.

s.o. 377.-The President only shall have the privilege of admitting Strangers into Membm of Houre of that portion of the Chamber below the Bar. Members of the House of Representatives shall have the privilege of admission there below tho

without orders. The President may, by leave of the Senate, admit distinguished strangers to a seat on the floor of the Senate. REMARKS.-The first two sentences of the Standing Order applied to the particular construction of the Legislative Council Chamber at Parliament House, Melbourne, where the Senate sat

until 1927, and are not applicable to the present Senate Chamber.

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729

Limitation of Debate.­ " Urgent " P.ill?..

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S.O. 407B.-(l) When a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is called on, or when a Message is received from the House of Representatives transmitting a Bill for concurrence, or at any other stage of a

Bill, a Mimster may declare that the Bill is an urgent Bill, and move "That the Bill be considered an urgent Bill", and such motion shall be put forthwith-no debate or amendment being allowed. If the motion be agreed to without dissentient voice or be carried by an affirmative vote of not less than thirteen twenty-one Senators, a Minister may forthwith, or at any time during any sitting of the Senate or Committee, but not so as to interrupt a Senator who is addressing the Senate or Committee, move a further motion or motions specifying the time which (exclusive of any adjournment or suspension of sitting, and notwithstanding anything contained in any other Standing Order or any Sessional Order) shall be allotted to all or any of the following:-

(a) The initial stages of the Bill up to, but not inclusive of, the second reading of the Bill; (b) The second reading of the Bill;

(c) The Committee stage of the Bill; (d) The remaining stages of the Bill;

and the order with regard to the time allotted to the Committee stage of the Bill may, out of the time allotted, apportion a certain time or times to a particular Clause or Clauses, or to any particular Part or Parts of the Bill.

Upon such further motion or motions with regard to the allotment of time being moved, no debate thereon shall be allowed for more than one hour, and in speaking thereon no Senator shall exceed ten minutes. If the debate be not sooner concluded, then forthwith upon the expiration of that time the President

or the Chairman shall put any Questions on any amendment or motion already proposed from the Chair.

(2) For the purpose of bringing to a conclusion any proceedings which are to be brought to a conclusion on the expiration of the time allotted under any motion passed under the provisions of the preceding paragraphs of this Standing Order, the President or the Chairman shall at the time appointed under the motion for the conclusion of those proceedings put forthwith the Question on any amendment or motion already proposed from the Chair, and, in the case of the consideration of any

Bill in Committee, shall then put any Clauses and any Government amendments and new Clauses and Schedules, copies of which have been circulated by the Government among Senators two hours at least before the expiration of the allotted time, and any other question requisite to dispose of the business

before the Senate or Committee. No other amendments, new Clauses, or Schedules, shall be proposed.

(3) Standing Orders 281, 431, and 433 shall not apply to any proceedings in respect of which time has been allotted in pursuance of this Standing Order.

(4) Where any time has been specified for the commencement of any proceedings in connexion with any business under this Standing Order, when the time so specified has been reached, the business, whatsoever its nature be, then before the Senate or Committee, shall be postponed forthwith and the consideration of the Urgent Bill proceeded with, and all steps necessary to enable this to be done shall be taken accordingly. REMARKs.-The 13 votes stipulation (one more than a quorum) was fixed when the Senate

numbered 36. With the increase in the number of Senators to 60, it is desirable that this voting stipulation be adjusted. The purpose of this voting stipulation is the protection of the minority.

13

s.o. 423.-When any Senator objects to words used in Debate, and desires them word• taken dowa to be taken down, the President shall direct them to be taken m the senate. down by the Clerk accordingly: Provided that this Standing Order

shall be applied only for the purpose of protecting Senators from objectionable, offensive and disorderly expressions. REMARKS.-The proposed proviso to the Standing Order incorporates President Cunningham's ruling No. 13, which states:-" The purpose of Standing Order 423 is to protect Senators

from objectionable, offensive and disorderly expressions, and it should be applied for that purpose only. The reading of such words must be followed by an explanation, withdrawal, or apology by the Senator concerned."

s.o. 433.-lf the Motion " That the Question be now put " be carried, the Senate If Motion that shall vote on the Question immediately before it without further Debate or Amendment, provided that a vote on the Question

" That the Question be now put " shall require at least thirteen twenty-one affirmative votes; but if the Motion be lost, the Debate shall be resumed where it was interrupted. REMARKs.-The 13 votes stipulation (one more than a quorum) was fixed when the Senate

numbered 36. With the increase in the number of Senators to 60, it is desirable that this voting stipulation be adjusted. The purpose of voting stipulations such as this is the protection of the minority.

JOINT STANDING ORDERS.

Numbering of Acts.

(1.)-Every Public Act of the Parliament shall be numbered in Arabic .figures, Act.,• be and in regular arithmetical series for each year in the order in which the same shall be assented to by His Excellency the Governor-General, or in which the King's assent thereto is made known, together with the number of the year in which such Act shall receive

the Royal Assent.

Acts Assented to.

(1.)-Every Act which has passed both Houses and received Her Majesty's te t>e dated. assent shall have the date of such assent, or in the case of a Bill which has been reserved for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure thereon, of such reservation, and also the date of proclama-tion of assent, following the words " Assented to " or " Reserved "

and "Assent proclaimed " respectively (as the case may be), within parentheses, immediately after the title; and one copy of such Act, bearing the signature of the Governor-General, shall be retained by

731

the Clerk for deposit amongst the records of the Parliament. CopJ retaiaocl br Oerk. REMARKS.-This amendment expresses practice and would rna lee the particular Standing Orders of the two Houses uniform. The provision in the existing Standing Order for the numbering of Acts has been omitted

because such numbering is provided for in section 39 of the Acts Interpretation Act.

Printed and Published for the GovERNMENT of the CoMMONWEALTH OF AuSTRALIA by A. J. ARTHUR, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra.