21 August 1929

11th Parliament · 1st Session

The President (Senator the Hon. W.Kingsmill) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

page 83


Motionof Want of Confidence- - Businessof the Senate - Election of president.

Vice-President of the Executive Council · Western Australia · NAT

[3.1]. - The debate on the motion of want of confidence in another place not yet having, been concluded, I move -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

Senator DUNCAN:

– Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate give us an indication of the business to be undertaken when the Senate next meets? There is a notice of motion on the business-paper relating to the introduction of a Life Assurance Bill.

Senator Sir George Pearce:

– That will be the first business to be taken.

Senator LYNCH:
Western Australia

– When the Senate last met, I was suffering a disability, and consequently did not have the opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the high office that you now occupy. Had I been present I should, of course, have done so; but I cannot accommodate myself to the vicissitudes of fortune, and I therefore take this opportunity to congratulate you upon your election. The high office that you hold is the creation of the Senate, and that being so, the Senate looks upon it with jealous eyes and with a desire to preserve in all respects its rights and dignity. If I may say so, there is one direction in which I am sure you will exercise all your t.nlents in the future. There are in this country at present some who have no admiration for the Senate, and it will necessarily fall to your lot, sir, as its presiding officer, to take up the cudgels on its behalf, and, together with honorable senators generally, see that it does not suffer either in regard to its reputation or its work. It is within the knowledge of honorable senators that some time ago the power of the Senate was challenged, and that this . deliberative assembly, under its constitutional authority, threw down the gage of battle. The matter was brought before the electors, ft was then found that’ those institutions that challenged the authority of this chamber were wrong and that the Senate was right. That fact alone is sufficient to embolden us in the belief that this chamber is still the true exponent of popular feeling in this country. It is foundedas firmly as the British House of Commons, and critics who so freely unthinkingly or unwittingly attack an institution like this, which is the people’s own creation, had better be on their guard, since the Senate will always be ready with a reply to them. I feel that it is unnecessary for me to do more than mention this, as I am confident that while you occupy your present office you will always see that the good name and reputation of the Senate are jealously preserved.

Senator RAE (New South Wales)

Executive Council (Senator Pearce) indicate when the Senate is likely to assemble for actual business?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia - Vice-President of the Executive Council) [3.5]. - The question put by Senator Rae should more properly have been directed to his colleagues in another place. It is the hope and wish of the Government that we shall be able to proceed with business to-morrow. We are certainly making preparations in anticipation of being able to do so.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon W Kingsmill:

– Before putting the motion, I should like to thank Senator Lynch for his references to myself and to assure him that, should the emergency which he. contemplates ever arise, my best efforts will be put forward in defence of the Senate, the protection of whose rights and privileges I regard as one of my greatest responsibilities.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 3.7 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 21 August 1929, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.