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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 790

The PRESIDENT - Before we deal with Government business I wish to deal with a matter raised by Senator Cavanagh this morning on which I promised to make a statement. If the Senate is agreeable, I should like to defer the next item of business to rule on the matter raised by Senator Cavanagh, because it is important to the Senate. I understand that the honourable senator will be in the chamber to hear what 1 have to say. The matter raised by Senator Cavanagh refers to the time at which under sessional orders the motion for the adjournment should be put. Last night I allowed the matter which was before the Senate to flow and subsequently put the motion for the adjournment of the Senate. I was quite clear in my own mind when I ruled on this matter last night but I felt that Senator Cavanagh, with his well known interest in Standing Orders, was entitled to more than a cursory answer from me when he asked the question this morning. Therefore I have here the considered support for the ruling and the attitude which 1 adopted last night. I ask honourable senators for their attention.

Senator Cavanagh asked me a question relating to the putting of the question for the adjournment at 10.30 p.m. when a point of order is before the Chair. Last night a point of order was under consideration at 10.30 p.m. I decided not to put the question until the point of order was resolved, in the same way that the question for the adjournment is not put until a division is resolved. I considered that, in the particular circumstances of last evening it was proper that there should reside in the Chair a discretion to delay the question for the adjournment until the point of order had been determined, especially as it involved a very serious matter of the conduct of an honourable senator. Having said that, I point out that I am supported by the Senate Standing Orders. The relevant Standing Order which is No. 426 is as follows:

All Questions of Order and matters of Privilege which have arisen since the last sitting of the Senate, until decided, suspend the consideration and decision of every other Question.

It was on that basis that 1 ruled last night.

Senator Cavanagh - I seek leave to make a statement on the ruling.

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted?

Senator Wright - No.

The PRESIDENT - Leave is not granted.

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