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Number of Ministers.

65. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the Ministers of State shall not exceed seven in number, and shall hold such offices as the Parliament prescribes, or, in the absence of provision, as the Governor-General directs.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—In the Bill of 1891, and in the Adelaide draft of 1897, this clause occurred with merely verbal variations. (Conv. Deb., Adel., —. 916.)

At the Sydney session, in 1897, an amendment of the Legislative Council of Victoria, that two Ministers at least should be senators, was negatived on division by 19 votes to 13. (For a similar proposal in 1891, see Historical Note, sec. 64.) Mr. Dobson then moved that if there were five Ministers, one should be a senator, and if there were seven, two should be senators. This was negatived by 20 votes to 12. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1897, pp. 799–806.)

At Melbourne, drafting amendments were made before the first report, and after the fourth report.

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