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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2831


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition) —by leave-I should like to clarify the position. During the debate I indicated to Senator Chipp that there would be discussions between the Whips, because the Opposition was quite prepared to see a shortening of the debate because of the great amount of Government Business which was there. I understand that there was a discussion between the Whips and it was agreed that the debate would, thereby, be shortened . It would have been the Opposition's preference, too, to see a vote on this matter. But the only way in which a vote could be taken now would be if the matter were recommitted for a vote. I am quite prepared to test the Senate by saying to the Government: 'All right, in keeping with past practice, let us recommit the motion and vote'. I seek leave for that to be done.


The PRESIDENT —Is leave granted?


Senator Grimes —No. Perhaps I may explain why and make another offer.


Senator CHANEY —Perhaps I may finish my statement. The position was that there was a clear indication from the Government benches that Government senators supported the motion. I thought that the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans) -in a rather churlish but otherwise straightforward way-indicated that he agreed with the substance of the motion. Senator Sibraa did the same. Senator Chipp made it very clear that he was opposed to it. Senator Chipp was not present, for reasons that he has outlined, when the division was called-


Senator Chipp —No division was called.


Senator CHANEY —Obviously, no member of the Opposition was going to vote no, nor was any member of the Government going to vote no, because it is clear that all members of the Government support the views contained in the motion.