WHETHER GOVERNOR-GENERAL BEFORE ASSENTING TO BILL SUBMITTED TO ELECTORS SHOULD BE INFORMED AS TO WHETHER RESULT OF REFERENDUM IS IN DISPUTE : ROLE OF CLERK OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES : FORM OF CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE
CONSTITUTION, ss. 58, 128 : REFERENDUM (CONSTITUTION ALTERATION) ACT 1906
The Clerk of the House of Representatives has forwarded the following memorandum to me for advice:
This proposed law(1) was forwarded to the Governor-General by the Speaker on 1 December 1909. It was submitted to a Referendum of the people on 13 April 1910. The Chief Electoral Officer's certificate as to the result of the Referendum appears in Gazette No. 38 of 3 June 1910.
The certificate shows that in a majority of the States a majority of the electors voting approved of the proposed law, and that a majority of all the electors voting also approved of the proposed law.
The period of forty days within which, under section 28 of the Referendum Act(2), validity of the return may be disputed, has now elapsed. 1 should be glad to be advised-
- As to whether any, and, if so, what steps should be taken by me to satisfy myself that no petition disputing the Referendum has been filed.
- As to whether the certificate given in the case of the Constitution Alteration (Senate Elections) Bill 1906, of which I enclose a copy, is a satisfactory one to follow. It appears to me that the words in red ink, which were not in the certificate on the Senate Elections Bill, might be added with advantage.
As regards question (1), I am of opinion that His Excellency the Governor-General, before assenting to the proposed law, should have information before him as to whether any petition disputing the Referendum has been filed. There is no particular duty on the Clerk of the House of Representatives to obtain the information(3), but in the absence of any other practice, I think it would be convenient if he were to undertake the duty. I shall be pleased to obtain and supply the information, if requested to do so.
As regards question (2), I think the suggested form of certificate, as amended in red ink, is satisfactory, but I would suggest that in place of the words 'the said proposed law being approved by a majority of the electors in a majority of the States, and by a majority of all the electors voting' the words 'the said proposed law being approved in a majority of the States by a majority of the electors voting and by a majority of all the electors voting' be used.
[ Vol. 8, p. 46]
(1) Constitution Alteration (State Debts) 1909.
(2) Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act 1906-1909.
(3) In regard to this point the Clerk of the House of Representatives submitted the following further question on 20 July 1910: