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Wednesday, 6 December 1905
Page: 6364

Mr WEBSTER (Gwydir) - I would ask the Prime Minister to consent to temporarily withdraw his amendment in order that the feeling of the Committee may be tested as to whether the provision now in the Act should be retained.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Webster) proposed -

That the words " any prescribed," line 8, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " an European."

Mr. JOSEPHCOOK (Parramatta).- I should like to know what attitude the Government intend to adopt with regard to the amendment ?

Mr Deakin - They will stand by the Bill.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I should think that if the amendment were carried, the PrimeMinister would at once withdraw the Bill.

Mr Deakin - Indeed, I should not.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Of what use would the Bill be if the amendment were carried ?

Mr Deakin - The measure contains a number, of useful provisions apart from those embodied in clause 3.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I know that it relates to a number of small matters; but they are certainly not of sufficient importance to justify the introduction of a separate Bill. This clause is the kernel of the whole measure.

Mr Frazer - What attitude do the Opposition propose to adopt?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - They will support the Government. There need be no doubt about that. I am quite sure that as a result of that intimation there will be a very much larger vote than would otherwise be cast in favour of the proposal of the honorable member for Gwydir. Upon s matter of this kind, which goes to the very root of the Bill, I think that we should have a very clear statement from the Prime Minister regarding the attitude of the Government.

Mr. DEAKIN(Ballarat- Minister pf External Affairs). - The position seems to me too palpable to call" for any Ministerial statement.The Government propose to omit the words " an European," with a view of inserting in lieu thereof the words "any prescribed language." They regard that proposal as by far the most important in that portion of the Bill which relates to the language test.

Question - That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause - put.

The Committee divided -

Ayes ... ...31

Noes ... ... ... 13

Majority ... ... 18




Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment (by Mr. Deakin) proposed' -

That after the word " officer," line 10, the following words be inserted : - " No regulation prescribing any language shall have any force until it has been laid before both Houses of the Parliament for thirty days or if within that time a resolution has been proposed in either House of the Parliament to disapprove of the regulation until the motion has been disposed Of. "If before the regulation comes into force a resolution disapproving of it is passed by either House of the Parliament, the regulation shall be of no effect. " Until some language has been prescribed the languages authorized by the Principal Act shall be deemed to be prescribed within the meaning of this Act."

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