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DISCUSSION OF MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

The President informed the Senate that Senator Mason had proposed that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Senate for discussion, viz: ''Plans by the Commonwealth Government to encourage the early establishment in Australia of a nuclear industry, including enrichment of nuclear fuel and electric power through the use of nuclear reactors''.

And at least four Senators having risen in support of the proposed discussion-

The President called upon Senator Mason to speak.

Motion to table document: The Minister for National Development and Energy ( Senator Sir John Carrick), pursuant to Standing Order 364, moved-That the document quoted from by Senator Mason be laid upon the Table.

Question-put and passed.

Discussion ensued.

Document tabled: Senator Mason, pursuant to Order of the Senate this day, laid upon the Table the following Paper from which he had quoted: Review of the Atomic Energy Act and related matters.

Senator Mason and the Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Chipp), by leave, made statements relating thereto.

Point of Order: Senator Evans raised a point of order to the effect that Standing Order 364 does not apply to documents quoted from which are not in a Senator's possession in the Chamber.

Debate ensued.

Ruling of Acting Deputy-President: The Point of Order was not upheld by the Acting Deputy-President (Senator Elstob).

Standing Orders Committee-Reference: Senator Sir John Carrick moved-That the matter raised by Senator Evans be referred to the Standing Orders Committee.

Debate ensued.

Question-put and passed.

Discussion continued.

Ordered-That the business of the day be called on.