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Wednesday, 10 June 1970

Mr Foster - I still take the point of order. My point of order is that 1 was forced to withdraw' the self-same expression in this chamber tonight. Why should not the honourable member for Kennedy do the same?

Mr Foster - 1 rise to order. The honourable member for Kennedy referred to this side of the House as being hypocritical. 1 sought the advice of the Deputy Speaker on this very thing only a few moments ago.

Mr Hayden - I rise to order. Does this mean that, if 1 say that they are all a mob of bastards over there, the expression is not objectionable? But if I say someone in particular on the other side is, it is objectionable. This is an important point. Foi instance, if 1 pick on the Minister foi Defence-

Mr Foster - Is not the call for the honourable member for Kennedy to withdraw?

Mr Foster - The honourable member for Kennedy made the remark without any doubt. You, perhaps being engrossed in some of the affairs that may occupy your mind while you are in the Chair from time to time, may not have heard it. However, it was made, and he should withdraw it.

Mr Hayden - I wish to take an important point of order in relation to semantics. If I say that they are all a mob of bastards over there I must mean every individual member. This is an important point. How do you distinguish between the individual member in all - 1 -

Mr Armitage (CHIFLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Were you talking about me?

Mr Foster - I rise to a further point of order. Does the Chair now consider that the honourable member for Kennedy has withdrawn? In addition to that, during the course of what was going on a few minutes ago another member of the Country Party described the honourable member for Oxley as being 'a low thing'. How far do they go?

Mr Cohen - Where is that?

Mr Foster - I rise to a point of order. It appears that the honourable member for Kennedy did not withdraw his statement. In view of the conversation I had with you, Mr Deputy Speaker, when you occupied the Chair during the time when I addressed this chamber this evening and in view of your remarks to me recently while I was sitting on the front bench seeking clarity on a similar ruling, that when a statement is made and refers to all the members on this side of the House or the other side of the House-

Mr Kennedy (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) - Mr Deputy Speaker, 1 direct your attention to the state of the House.

Mr Morrison (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I beg your pardon?

Mr Morrison - I apologise; 1 did not understand that.

Dr Patterson - I take a point of order-

Dr Patterson - 1 am taking a point of order.

Mr Cope - The honourable member for Bendigo is justified by the Standing Orders. You must abide by the Standing Orders, Mr Deputy Speaker. A quorum can be called every 10 minutes, and you cannot do anything about it.

Mr Cope - You have no right to rebuke an honourable member for calling a quorum.

Dr Patterson - I rise lo a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. With respect, I think you should clarify your ruling in relation to the calling of a quorum because it would appear from the ruling which you gave that there was, in your opinion, an abuse of the procedures of the House. I do not know under what standing order you gave your ruling. Mr Deputy Speaker, but standing order 45 is quite clear in this respect, lt stales:

If any member takes notice that a quorum of members is not present, the Speaker shall count the House; and, ii a quorum be not present within 2 minutes, he shall adjourn the House till the next sitting day.

Mr Deputy Speaker,where does it say in the Standing Orders that it is an abuse of the Standing Orders to ask for a quorum?

Mr Bryant - Mr Deputy Speaker, speaking to your ruling on that point of order, personally I regard it as a reflection on every member on this side of the House. As far as I am concerned, there was no suggestion from anybody thai I should stay out of the House. I believe that you ought to withdraw the imputation that we were attempting to interfere with the forms of the House. On the second question about calling a quorum, the Australian Constitution lays down that a quorum of (he House shall he one-third of the number of members of the House unless the Parliament otherwise determines. The provision has been there for 70 years. In my 15 years service in this House I have never heard anybody in the chair say that it is incorrect to call for the presence of a quorum. If the provision has been a pan of the Constitution for 70 years, and if it is the established practice of the House to call for the presence of a quorum, I believe you, Mr Deputy Speaker, have insulted the House by your remark.

Mr Armitage - -Mr Deputy. Speaker--

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