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Thursday, 2 April 1987
Page: 1983


Mr TUCKEY —Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence to raise a matter of parliamentary procedure.


Madam SPEAKER —Please proceed.


Mr TUCKEY —Madam Speaker, yesterday during Question Time the Treasurer (Mr Keating) said of the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton):

The honourable member will rip off another sheet of paper if we are not careful and stamp his foot and throw his handbag at us.

The implication of this remark is deeply insulting. Hansard records no immediate action by you, Madam Speaker, prior to an objection on a point of order by the honourable member for Mackellar. You then required the Treasurer to withdraw. The evidence of the Treasurer's use of such insults is legion and I seek to table an updated version.


Madam SPEAKER —Is leave granted?


Mr Young —No.


Madam SPEAKER —Leave is not granted.


Mr TUCKEY —What are you frightened of? Madam Speaker, on 23 February 1987 the following words-

Honourable members interjecting-


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for O'Connor will please proceed.


Mr TUCKEY —Madam Speaker, I thought we might wait till--


Madam SPEAKER —I think we will ignore the interjections. They have been going on all day. The honourable member for Mackellar might like to be quiet.


Mr TUCKEY —On 23 February 1987 the following words were said in the Parliament:

On a point of order, Madam Speaker, I ask the Treasurer to withdraw. You would not give Kristine a lousy thousand dollars, would you, to pay for-

Then concurrently with your words `Order! I warn the honourable member', I said `the wedding expenses. That is you, you mug'. Your words then continued: `for O'Connor. I name the honourable member for O'Connor'. I have altered the text of the quotation slightly from the printed record to reflect accurately the Hansard tape. The Hansard tape clearly indicates that my statement concluded concurrent with your issued warning. The naming came after I had ceased, and I have requested Hansard to make this adjustment.

Madam Speaker, the purpose of my seeking your indulgence is to ask again for your definition of personal attacks and the clear penalty that will apply. Will the action of withdrawal clear the slate, or will the remark of the Special Minister of State (Mr Young), `but the damage is done'-that is recorded on page 582 of Hansard-be taken into account and an appropriate penalty, such as suspension, apply, as it did in my case? What, in your opinion, is the significant difference between the Treasurer's insulting and unsubstantiated remarks of yesterday and my substantiated remark that indicated no more than that the Treasurer had reneged on paying expenses incurred upon his entering an oral contract--


Madam SPEAKER —Order!


Mr TUCKEY —which he subsequently broke and in fact then denied in an attempt to avoid a clear financial commitment?


Dr Theophanous —Madam Speaker--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! May I--


Mr TUCKEY —Madam Speaker, I have one paragraph left.


Madam SPEAKER —The honourable member for Calwell wishes to raise a point of order. I am sure the honourable member, who is always asking that others be required to sit down, will sit down.


Dr Theophanous —Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The honourable member for O'Connor sought your indulgence to raise a matter of procedure. He is now abusing the forms of the House in fact to smear the Treasurer in the context of raising a point of procedure. This is merely a smearing exercise on the part of the honourable member for O'Connor.


Madam SPEAKER —The honourable member for Calwell will resume his seat. I reply to the honourable member for O'Connor by pointing out that very often in this House things happen on which the Chair sits in judgment. It very often depends on the context in which they take place, the mood of the House and the tone of voice used. When the honourable member for O'Connor was suspended from this House by the Chair for 24 hours it was the culmination of a number of times that the Chair had spoken to the honourable member for O'Connor during Question Time. Maybe he was not communicated with by name but certainly he was by my looking at him and saying `Order!', as I do to the honourable member for Mackellar quite often. He will say that I take his eye occasionally. I eventually named the honourable member for O'Connor for defying the Chair. He also, in my opinion, was on the verge of intruding again into the personal life of one of the members of this House. I deplore many of the phrases used on both sides of the House, some of which to my left are audible to me and which I do not appreciate. I attempt to be flexible and at times pretend not to hear some of them. I cannot do this with all of them. If, in the normal thrust and give and take of political life here anyone is offended, as the honourable member for Mackellar was by what the Treasurer said, the Chair will sit in judgment and may request a withdrawal. But I do not feel that the honourable member for O'Connor can contrast the uproar that occurred in the House on the day that he was named by the Chair with what took place yesterday. I call the Clerk with petitions.


Mr Hand —On a point of order, Madam Speaker--


Madam SPEAKER —I have called the Clerk with petitions. I have had enough points of order. I have called the Clerk.


Mr Hand —Could I ask--


Madam SPEAKER —No, I am sorry, I have called the Clerk and I am going to stick with the Clerk. The honourable member for Melbourne will resume his seat.