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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - Surely the Minister ought to see that "intelligibly" is the better word to use.

Senator Pearce - I am prepared to accept it coupled with the other word.

Senator VARDON - I do not think that the use of the word "fluently" is necessary. According to Chambers' English Dictionary "intelligibly" means -

That may be understood ; clear ; capable of being apprehended by the understanding only. " Fluently " is defined to mean

Ready in the use of words; voluble; marked by copiousness.

Senator Guthrie - That is 'absolutely necessary at sea.

Senator VARDON - A man may need to be fluent in the use of slang or forcible words, but here we are asked to say what a candidate ought to be able to do with the English language. If he can make himself understood that ought to be sufficient. We do not expect a man to be voluble. We ought to use language which is easily understood. What we really require is that a' man should have an intelligent understanding of the English language, and not the ability to speak it fluently.

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