Apart from an amendment to paragraph (5) in 1909 to allow greater flexibility in dealing with bills in committee of the whole by allowing clauses to be postponed whether or not they had been amended, SO 117 remains more or less in its original form. What is now paragraph (2) was the subject of some debate in 1903 and the paragraph was significantly altered by amendment. Whereas the Standing Orders Committee had recommended a form of this provision that it thought would be acceptable to a majority of senators:
And in reconsidering the Bill, which can only be done upon Recommittal, the same principle shall be followed,
Senator Symon (FT, SA) argued successfully for the adoption of the South Australian practice which the Senate had been using and which allowed for the bill to be reconsidered before it was reported out of committee. This was an additional opportunity for reconsideration which had been found to be very convenient in practice. President Baker argued against the amendment on the practical ground that reconsideration of a bill was easier with a fair print of the bill available and that recommittal was therefore the better option, but he did not have strong views about the matter and said nothing more once another South Australian, Senator Playford (Prot, SA), spoke strongly in favour of Symon’s amendment.
As noted in the previous standing order, the now almost universal practice of taking bills as a whole, by leave, means that this standing order is rarely, if ever, used but remains available should circumstances make it a better method of proceeding or should any senator insist upon it (by refusing leave to depart from it).