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Section of editorial comment from The Argus October 2 1891 page 4


The intimation by the Premier that he will abandon that portion of the Electoral Bill which relates to woman suffrage will scarcely take the public by surprise. The wonder is that the proposal should have been gravely made, and should have been gravely submitted as the most important part of the measure. The end of the session is drawing rapidly near, and the time cannot be considered at all propitious for turning the House into a debating society. The Government of a country is expected to push on with business in Parliament, and not to call upon the Houses to take part in abstract discussions leading to nothing. If there had been a division on the subject Mr. Munro would have found himself in a pronounced minority in the House, and it may be confidently said that the majority against him will be still more pronounced in the country.

The article continues

Man is the natural protector of woman in the battle of life. He does not propose to abandon this position. And as there is no intention to hand over the army to women, nor the police, nor yet the banks, nor the commercial houses, nor the retail emporiums, nor even the pulpit, so there is not the slightest call that she should be installed in politics. …


Part of the report of parliamentary proceedings recorded on page 4 -

The Legislative Assembly applied itself during the whole of yesterday’s sitting to the consideration of the Constitution Act Amendment Bill, As soon as the House met, the debate on the second reading was resumed, and over a score of members followed each other in their criticism of the measure. The proposal to confer the franchise upon women was condemned on almost every hand, and early in the evening a rumour spread itself among members that Premier intended to abandon that portion of the bill. Mr. Craven asked if the rumour were correct, but Mr. Munro was mute. Half an hour later Mr. McColl demanded to know what the Premier intended to do. "I will give no answer till after the second reading," was the reply. At Half past ten o’clock the house divided, with the result that the second reading was carried by 39 votes to 13. Mr. Munro then announced that in deference to the views of hon. Members he would withdraw the clauses referring to female suffrage, and the announcement was received with cheers.

The article continues -

Not a single member who spoke upon the "one man one vote" cum female franchise bill in the Legislative Assembly yesterday was able to express hearty approval of the measures as a whole. Many members who were most strenuous in support of one part of the bill were also most strenuous in their condemnation of the other. Nearly all who were most ardent supporters of "one man one vote" upbraided the Government for not going further, and removing existing anomalies.





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