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Wednesday, 29 October 1997
Page: 10152

Mr ANDREW(7.24 p.m.) —Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek your indulgence for just a few moments if I might.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Nehl) —Proceed.

Mr ANDREW —There is clearly some controversy over the previous division and over the decision to ring the bells for one minute, controversy which will not be easily resolved since Mr Deputy Speaker Adams did not observe the—

Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: this is a reflection upon the chair and a reflection upon a vote of the House and the member should not be allowed to—

Mr Bob Baldwin interjecting

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Resume your seat. There is no point of order.

Mr Leo McLeay —Mr Deputy Speaker, I ask that the member for Paterson withdraw the remark that he made a moment ago which was that I should sit down and shut my bloody mouth. Can you ask him to withdraw that remark please.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —If the honourable member for Watson finds the remark made by the honourable member for Paterson offensive, I ask the honourable member for Paterson to withdraw.

Mr Bob Baldwin —I would if I had said that, Mr Deputy Speaker, but I said `bucket mouth', not the other language that he referred to, because I believe he has a bucket mouth.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I think the honourable member for Paterson—

Mrs Bishop interjecting

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I could do without the help of the minister at the table. I suggest to the honourable member for Paterson, to assist the business of the House, that since the honourable member for Watson believes that he is offended he should withdraw. I do ask you to withdraw.

Mr Bob Baldwin —Mr Deputy Speaker, considering his personality is so frail, I will withdraw that remark.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I do not need your help. There will be no qualification. It is a straightforward withdrawal: two words please—I withdraw.

Mr Bob Baldwin —I have already said to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that I withdraw.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —No, no qualification. Do you withdraw?

Mr Bob Baldwin —I have just said that to you, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —You have withdrawn. Let us make it very clear.

Mr Bob Baldwin —Mr Deputy Speaker, I just rose to my feet and said I withdraw.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Thank you very much.

Mr ANDREW —I regret the fact that the Chief Opposition Whip felt obliged to interject before I had had an opportunity to put my point. I was acknowledging that the former occupier of the chair—the Deputy Speaker then in the chair—had been unable, so he indicated to the member for Eden-Monaro (Mr Nairn) and the member for Sturt (Mr Pyne), to recognise them because of the general movement in the chamber. If I am gracious enough to accept that, nonetheless I as the Chief Government Whip have the dilemma of recognising that a number of people were inadvertently unable to participate in the division.

I would be grateful if you would take up with the Speaker the dilemma that was caused by the decision to ring the bells for one minute and see whether there is some facility whereby the Speaker can allow those who are government members, opposition members and maybe Independents who were not otherwise granted leave by the Chief Opposition Whip or me to have their intention recorded in some way.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I thank the Chief Government Whip. I certainly have no problem discussing this with Mr Speaker, but I would say to you that it is my opinion that, for those who missed that division, whatever the reason, that division is over. Unfortunately, whatever the reason, those members have missed it, but certainly I will discuss it with Mr Speaker.