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Thursday, 23 November 1911

Senator Pearce - I ask you, sir to rule whether the amendment is in order. Only a few minutes ago, Senator Symon moved to insert the word 'indictable" before the word "offences," and intimated that if his proposal were carried, he would endeavour to secure a reduction of the period within which a prosecution must be commenced from three years to six months. In that case, the three years' period would have applied only to indictable offences. I submit that the amendment which Senator St. Ledger has moved is, in effect, the same amendment, and, in view of that circumstance, I should like to know whether it is in order.

Senator Millen - The Minister of Defence was scarcely correct in the last statement which he made. The proposal of Senator Symon would, if carried, have entirely cut out all offences dealt with by summary conviction. Having negatived that proposal, an amendment has now been submitted to separate such offences from the major offences. I hold, therefore, that the proposal of Senator St. Ledger is entirely different from that which has already been disposed of.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - The Minister of Defence is quite right in saying that if my amendment had been carried it would have restricted the operation of the clause to indictable offences. But Senator St. Ledger's amendment is absolutely different. It seeks to declare that offences punishable by summary conviction shall be so punished only within six months of their committal.

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