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Tuesday, 24 February 1987
Page: 514

Senator GARETH EVANS (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) —I move:

That intervening business be postponed until after consideration of Government Business, Order of the Day No. 16 (Defence Initiatives in the South Pacific-Ministerial Statement).

Perhaps I should say that I so move on the principle that if rape is inevitable one might as well, if not enjoy it, at least succumb with such grace as one can muster in the circumstances.

Senator Haines —A rather graceless analogy.

Senator Ryan —I think some in the Senate could be offended by it.

Senator GARETH EVANS —If one is offended by that one is offended by just about anything.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Coleman) —Order! I suggest that the Minister address his remarks through the Chair. It might stop the interjections.

Senator GARETH EVANS —I do so in the further hope that honourable senators will bear in mind not only the pressures of government and parliamentary business on which the Opposition has been fully briefed through its leadership, but also that this is not the only opportunity that they will have to debate a basic defence policy. Honourable senators will have another opportunity as soon as tomorrow.

Senator Lewis —It is a good lesson to you, though, isn't it, Gareth? One more speaker we wanted yesterday, that's all; but you wouldn't give it.

Senator GARETH EVANS —That is not what the honourable senator told me. If he had told me that I would have succumbed with even more grace than I mustered today. But there was no communication of any kind, so let us not open up that argument again. I just want to make the point that honourable senators will have an opportunity in the context of yet another ministerial statement which the Minister for Defence (Mr Beazley) feels the urge to make tomorrow and, of course, in the context of the defence White Paper on which the Government will, as I have already indicated, provide an opportunity for a lengthy debate when that White Paper is brought down, which subject to logistic considerations is expected to be in the first week of our return here. So against that background I ask for appropriate self-restraint on the part of honourable senators, but move the motion, nonetheless, in the terms I have.

Question resolved in the affirmative.