Chapter 31 - Conduct of Senators and rules of debate

195  Question may be read

A senator may require the question to be read by the Clerk at any time during a debate, but not so as to interrupt a senator speaking.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SO 411 but renumbered as SO 406 for the first printed edition

1989 revision: Old SO 420 renumbered as SO 195; superfluous material removed and expression simplified


Adopted without debate in 1903 from its South Australian equivalent, SO 195 has been invoked only rarely.[1] Edwards notes in the 1938 MS that there was no case on record of action being taken under this standing order, while Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice describes the procedure as “virtually obsolete until revived in 1996”.[2] The rule recalls the ancient functions of parliamentary clerks to record and read aloud items of business (including bills) to the assembly. It has limited application in modern times when copies of motions, amendments and other items of business are widely circulated and in view of a recent Presidential ruling that the chair may decline to have the question read if it has been circulated to senators in print, which is now usually the case.[3]