2 March 1904

2nd Parliament · 1st Session

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The Senate met at 2.30 p.m. pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.

The Clerk read the proclamation.

The Commissioner appointed by His Excellency the Governor-General’ - the Right Hon. Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, P.C., G.C.M.G., Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia - having been introduced by the Usher of the Black Rod, directed the Usher to request the attendance of the members of the House of Representatives to hear the Commission read.

The members of the House of Representatives being come,

Commission read by the Clerk.

The COMMISSIONER said- . Gentlemen of the Senate : Gentlemen of the House of Rep)”- sentatives :

I have it in command from the GovernorGeneral to let you know that, as soon as the members of the Senate recently elected and the members of the House of Representatives shall be sworn, the causes of His Excellency’s calling this Parliament v-ll be declared to you by him in person in this place; and it being necessary that a President of the Senate and a Speaker of the House of Representatives should be first chosen, you, Gentlemen of the Senate, will proceed to choose some proper person to be your President; and you, Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, will repair to the place where you are to sit, and there proceed to the choice of some proper person to be your Speaker; and that thereafter you respectively present such persons whom you shall so choose to His Excellency, at such time and place as he shall appoint. I will attend shortly in the House of Representatives for the purpose of taking the oaths and affirmations of honorable members of that House.

The members of the House of Representatives having withdrawn,

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The Clerk laid on the Table returns to the writs issued for the election of members to the Senate.

The following honorable senators made and subscribed the oath of allegiance :: -

Best, the Hon. Robert Wallace (Victoria).

Croft, John William (Western Australia)

De Largie, Hugh (Western Australia)

Dobson, the Hon. Henry (Tasmania).

Findley, Edward (Victoria)

Givens, Thomas (Queensland)

Gray, John Procter (New South Wales)

Guthrie, Robert Storrie (South Australia)

Henderson, George (Western Australia)

Macfarlane, James (Tasmania). McGregor, Gregor (South Australia).

Mulcahy, the Hon. Edward (Tasmania). Neild, Lt.-Col. John Cash (New South Wales).

Pulsford, Edward (New South Wales)

Story, William Harrison (South Australia)

Styles, James (Victoria)

Trenwith, the Hon. William Arthur (Victoria).

Turley, Henry

The Commissioner then withdrew.

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Vice-President of the Executive Council · South Australia · Protectionist

– I have to remind honorable senators that the time for the nomination of a President of the Senate has now arrived. The Clerk will receive nominations.

Motion (by Senator Sir Josiah Symon) proposed -

That Senator Lt.-Col. Gould do take the Chair of this Senate as President.

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I second the nomination.

Senator WALKER (New South Wales). It affords me pleasure once more to propose -

That Senator Sir R. C. Baker do take the Chair of this Senate as President.

It is nearly three years since I had the pleasure of making a similar motion.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon:

– No speeches !

Senator WALKER:

– Why not?

Senator Clemons:

– Because it would not be decorous.

Senator WALKER:

– At that time I was allowed to say a few words, and I do not see why I should not do so now. It is uncommon for the House of Commons to refuse to re-elect a Speaker so long as he remains a member, unless there is very good reason for making a change’. I do not hesitate to say that in my opinion there is no good reason why the late President should not be re-elected. When we elected him to the office on a previous occasion, he had come into the Senate as a gentleman who had had great experience as President of the Legislative Council of South Australia. Many of us also had the privilege of knowing him as Chairman of the Federal Convention which sat in the years 1897 and 1898, and a better Chairman of Committees I do not believe there has been in the whole world. For these reasons I have pleasure in once more proposing Senator Sir Richard Chaffey Baker as President.

Senator McGREGOR:
South Australia

– For very similar reasons I have much pleasure in. seconding the proposition of Senator Walker.

A ballot having been taken,

The Clerk announced that Senator Sir R. C. Baker had received 25 votes and Senator Lt.-Col. Gould 9 votes.

South Australia

– I am deeply grateful to honorable senators for the great honour which they propose to confer upon me; but at the same time I feel the difficulties and responsibilities of the position. I shall, however, endeavour to overcome those difficulties and to fulfil those responsibilities to the best of my ability. I submit myself to the

S Cil el te

Then the PRESIDENT ELECT, being taken out of his place by Senator Walker and Senator McGregor, and conducted to the chair, standing on the upper step, said : - Before taking the chair, I again desire to express my gratitude’ to honorable senators, and my earnest hope that the business of this session of Parliament will be carried out in such a way, and the conduct of members will be such, as will redound to the credit of the Senate of Australia. The difficulties of the dual position which I am called upon to fill are very great) and I ask that allowances may be made for me. In the first place, I have to perform the ordinary duties of a President or a Speaker, and in the second place, under our Constitution, I have to give not a casting vote, but a deliberative vote when, as it sometimes happens, party feeling runs high. The difficulty of reconciling these dual positions is very great, and I hope that I shall have the co-operation of honorable senators in .performing my duties. I earnestly trust that in the discharge of the arduous task imposed upon me honorable senators will help me to see that the proceedings of the Senate are conducted in so decorous and so dignified a manner that the people not only of Australia but of other parts of the world will be able, to say that the Senate of Australia sets an example to. other deliberative bodies.

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia - Vice-President of the Executive Council). - I beg to congratulate you, sir, on being elected for the second time to the office of President of the Senate. I feel quite certain that honorable senators will support you in your endeavour to preserve order and decorum, and that their record for the next three years will be equally favourably spoken of as their record for the last three years. I beg to inform you, sir, that His Excellency the Governor-General will be pleased to receive you at 20 minutes past 4 o’clock this afternoon in the Library of the Parliament.

Senator Lt Col NEILD:

-Col. GOULD (New South Wales). - Before your presentation to His Excellency, sir, I wish to offer you my congratulations on your re-election to the Chair. I can assure you that although I have been defeated I have no feeling in the matter, and I trust that our personal friendship will remain as it ever has been. One of my very best friends in the Senate considered it his duty to nominate you for the reelection, and there will be no bitterness between him and me, as I hope there will be none between you and me. I shall be very happy at all times, sir, to assist you in your efforts to insure the orderly and decorous transaction of business in the Senate.


– I again return my thanks to the mover and seconder of my nomination, and to honorable senators generally. I cordially reciprocate the remarks which have been made by Senator Gould, who is a strong personal friend of mine, and will, I hope, ever be so. So far as I am concerned no bitterness can possibly come between us, and I hope that we shall long continue to be good friends. As I understand that His Excellency the GovernorGeneral will receive the President, and such members of the Senate as choose to accompany him, in the Library at 20 minutes past 4 o’clock, the sitting will be suspended until that hour.

Sitting suspended accordingly.

The Senate having re-assembled,

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The Senate at 4.30 p.m. proceeded to the Library of Parliament, there to present the President to His Excellency the GovernorGeneral.

The Senate having re-assembled, The PRESIDENT. - I have to report that, accompanied by several honorable senators, I presented myself to the GovernorGeneral as the President of this Senate, and that His Excellency was pleased to express his satisfaction at the choice.

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NOR-GENERAL entered the chamber and took the chair. -A message was forwarded to the House of Representatives intimating that His Excellency desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber,, who, being come with their Speaker,

HIS EXCELLENCY was pleased to deliver the following speech: - “Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :

Gentlemen of the Senate and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :

His Excellency the Governor-

General having retired,

The President took the chair at 4.57 p.m. and read prayers.

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The PRESIDENT laid upon the table the following paper: -

Treasurer’s statement of Receipts and Expenditure for 1902-3, with report of Auditor-General.

Senator PLAYFORD laid upon the table the following papers: -

Return showing results of Commonwealth General Election of 16th December, 1903.

Regulations and Orders for the Military and Naval Forces of the Commonwealth.

Financial and Allowance Regulations of the Military and Naval Forces of the Commonwealth.

Regulations under Excise Act of 1901.

Provisional Regulations under Patents Act 1903-

Report of Royal Commission on Bonuses for Manufactures Bill, together with proceedings, minutes of evidence, and appendices.

Transfers approved by the Governor-General in Council under the Audit Act, Financial Year 1062-3.-

Transfers approved by Governor-General in Council under Audit Act and Appropriation Act 1903-4.

Repeal of certain Regulations under the Public Service Act and Substituted Regulations.

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Bill presented by Senator DRAKE arid read a first time.

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– I have to report to the Senate, in pursuance of Standing Order No. 10, the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General which has just been read in this chamber.

Motion (by Senator Playford) agreed to -

That the consideration of the speech of His Excellency the Governor-General be an Order of the Day for to-morrow.

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Motion (by Senator Playford) agreed to-

That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until tomorrow at 2.30 p.m.

Senate adjourned at 5.7 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 2 March 1904, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.