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Writs for vacancies.

33. Whenever a vacancy happens127 in the House of Representatives, the Speaker shall issue his writ for the election of a new member, or if there is no Speaker or if he is absent from the Commonwealth the Governor-General in Council may issue the writ.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—The clause in the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 was substantially to the same effect, except that the Speaker, unless the House was not sitting, was only empowered to issue the writ “upon a resolution of the House.” In Committee, Dr. Cockburn moved the omission of these words, but this was negatived. (Conv. Deb., Syd. [1891], pp. 641–3.)

At the Adelaide session, 1897, the clause was introduced in the same form. In Committee, Sir George Turner moved the omission of the words “upon a resolution of the House,” and this time the amendment was agreed to. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 734–5.) At a later stage the clause was consequentially amended. (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 1197–8.) At the Melbourne session, amendments were made before the first report and after the fourth report.

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