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Thursday, 27 April 1961


Mr TURNBULL (Mallee) .- I think that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) spoilt his speech by the last few words, because there is no doubt that he was quite wrong. The Government is not trying to rush the Parliament into recess for the reasons he attributed to it, because, in all the debates on urgency motions and other matters that have taken place during this sessional period, the Government has had winning points all the time. To use the words that the boys would use, Labour has not taken a trick at all. It has had a terrible bashing all the time. So the last few words of the Leader of the Opposition were quite wrong. The rest of his speech was fairly good. I am no lover of suspension of the 11 o'clock rule, because I do not like late sittings any more than any one else does. I remember that when Labour was in office, on certain mornings we got back to the Hotel Kurrajong just at the time when the bell was ringing for breakfast. Of course, that was when Labour was in government, and only a few Labour members here remember those days. All the new Labour members think that under Labour the House rose every evening at about half-past eleven or earlier. The honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) has a quite vivid recollection of arriving back at the Hotel Kurrajong and hearing the bell ring for breakfast when getting near the building, after having sat here all night. As a matter of fact, in those days, I got my best opportunities to speak in this House at half-past four and six o'clock in the morning, when most members were resting. They were chiefly not the members who are here now.

I do not like suspension of the 11 o'clock rule. I think that we can do our business best when we are wide awake and at the right time, but the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) has said very clearly that this measure is only for an emergency. It is said that the House will rise in two more weeks; I think that is right. But in the meantime anything may arise. The Opposition - we do not know what it is going to do - may propose a lot of urgency motions, and the time of the House will be taken up in that way. This measure is only a safeguard so that the House will rise on the date decided. 1 do not think for one moment that it is the intention of the Government or of the Leader of the House to keep the House sitting late at night for the next two weeks. I think that it is a wise Treasurer and a wise management of this House that make provision for power to act, if it is absolutely necessary, in the way proposed.







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