Chapter 31 - Conduct of Senators and rules of debate

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202  Interruption by adjournment of Senate

If a debate is interrupted by an adjournment of the Senate, the debate shall be an order of the day for the next day of sitting.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SO 427 but renumbered as SO 422 for the first printed edition

1989 revision: Old SO 437 renumbered as SO 202; content modified to incorporate relevant parts of a sessional order in existence in various forms since 1911 ; language modernised

Commentary

As adopted in 1903, this standing order provided as follows:

If a Debate be interrupted by a Count-Out or by any Adjournment of the Senate, such Debate may, on Motion after Notice, be resumed at the point where it was so interrupted.

This ponderous procedure, based on SOs 166–69 of the South Australian House of Assembly, had already been modified by sessional order by 1911. The modification applied to Friday sittings and provided for the President to put the question for the adjournment of the Senate at a particular time, for the question not to be open to debate and for any interrupted business to appear on the Notice Paper for the next sitting day without any motion being required (let alone a motion requiring notice to be given).[1] Doubtless such expedition was influenced by the train timetables out of Melbourne (and later, Canberra) on a Friday afternoon.

The sessional order for the adjournment on Fridays was renewed in every session till 1951 when a new version was adopted that applied to the adjournment on all days, modified to allow debate on the question.[2] This version, with further minor amendments from time to time, was re-adopted in each session up to and including the session commencing in September 1987.

Having been in operation in one form or another since 1911, the sessional order was finally incorporated into standing orders as part of the 1989 revision, thus ensuring that the standing orders reflected the actual practices of the Senate. The reference to count-outs was deleted as being superfluous and already covered by the term “adjournment”.

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