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Disqualifications for Membership.

Section 43. A member of either House of the Parliament is incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the other House.

Section 44. Any person who

i. Is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen, or is entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign Power;note or

ii. Is attainted of treason or has been convicted and is under sentence or subject to be sentenced for any offence


  ― 112 ―
punishable under the law of the Commonwealth, or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer; or

iii. Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or

iv. Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth; or

v. Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the public service of the Commonwealth, otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:

Shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives.

These disqualifications require little explanation. Subsection iv. is dealt with in the section itself by a provision that it does not apply to the office of (a) any of the Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth; or (b) any of the Queen's Ministers for a State; or (c) to the receipt of pay, half-pay, or a pension as an officer or member of the Queen's navy or army; or (d) to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth. Sub-section iv. does, however, apply generally to offices of profit in the States other than the excepted offices, and is not confined to offices of profit held of the Crown in right of Commonwealth or State.

A member of either House vacates his seat if he becomes subject to any of the disabilities mentioned in section 44, or if he takes the benefit, whether by assignment, composition, or otherwise, of any law relating to bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or “directly or indirectly takes or agrees to take any fee or honorarium for services rendered to the Commonwealth,” or for services rendered in the Parliament to any person or State (sec. 45).

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by the Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a member of either House is liable, for every day on which he so sits, to pay £100 to any person who sues for it in


  ― 113 ―
a court of competent jurisdiction. It is noteworthy that the Constitution does not disqualify members of the State Parliaments from being members of the Commonwealth Parliament. The State Parliaments, however, have already passed Acts which disqualify members of the Commonwealth Parliament from sitting in the State Parliament. In so doing they have followed the examples of the States in America, and have acted on the principle that a seat in Parliament is a seat to which the familiar doctrine “one man, one billet” applies.

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