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Friday, 9 July 1920


The CHAIRMAN - Immediately the honorable member for West Sydney commenced to discuss things that had taken place in the House I called him to order. The honorable member will be in order in offering reasons connected with the Bill as to why the further consideration of the clause should be postponed, but he cannot deal with matters outside the Bill.


Mr RYAN - I do not intend to go outside of reasons which are absolutely relevant to the consideration of the Bill. I am not prepared to allow the Government to cross a " t" or dot an " i " in this or any other Bill until the want of confidence motion has been disposed of.


The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable member's remark is a threat of obstruction, and as such, is entirely disorderly.


Mr RYAN - It is not a threat of obstruction, but an intimation of my frame of mind and I intend to adhere to it. The Government have thrown out a challenge and an insult to this party, and it is for us to accept the challenge.


The CHAIRMAN - I am loath to intervene, but I again direct the attention ofthe honorable member to the fact that nothing that takes place in the House may be referred to in Committee.


Mr RYAN - I do not intend to refer to anything that has taken place in the House, but I intend to refer to what I think will probably take place in Committee if the further consideration of this Bill is postponed till next week. I am hopeful that a new Government will then be in power, and I am moving the postponement of the clause in the hope that next week the Committee will be differently constituted, and that there will be in charge of the Bill another Minister who will be more likely to accept amendments. Of course, it is difficult to steer clear of the Standing Orders and to state the grounds upon which the Government are likely to be removed from office.


The CHAIRMAN - Order !


Mr Hughes - This is all nonsense. The honorable member is out of order.


The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member for West Sydney to confine his remarks to reasons why the further consideration of the clause should be postponed.


Mr RYAN - That is what I conceive I am doing. I am stating, at all events, the true reasons that actuate me, and I am trying to do it in conformity with the Standing Orders. I am determined, as far as in my power lies, to prevent the Committee going one step further with this measure, and I am hopeful that if honorable members, particularly those in the Ministerial Corner, will do their duty--


The CHAIRMAN - Order !


Mr Hughes - The honorable member's manners must have run short, in spite of the bountiful supply I gave him some time ago.


Mr RYAN - It is a good thing sometimes for honorable members on this side totreat those on the Ministerial side with some of their own medicine. There is not the slightest doubt that an attempt was successfully made this afternoon to avoid discussion--


The CHAIRMAN - Order! On several occasions I have asked the honorable member not to continue in that strain, and I again ask him to obey the Chair.


Mr RYAN - I am sure you, Mr. Chairman, will understand the difficulty that confronts me. We, on this side, have not the brute force of a majority such as honorable members opposite have. It is necessary for me to elaborate my argument in order that honorable members may understand and appreciate the real reason for my action in moving the postponement of this clause, and also that people outside--


Mr Hughes - And in Ballarat, particularly.


Mr RYAN - No, not in Ballarat, because I have no doubt that the citizens of Ballarat have already made up their minds concerning what they are going to do to-morrow.


Mr Hughes - Hear, hear; there is no doubt about that.


Mr RYAN - Seeing that the right honorable gentleman has interjected, I may be permitted to retort that he and his colleagues have given ample evidence that they are very anxious not to have their defects exposed.


Mr Hughes - On a point of order, sir, I submit that these remarks are quite out of order. The clause has relation to wireless. The remarks of the honorable member for West Sydney bear upon the Ballarat by-election, and have to do, also, with the condition of mind of certain people in Ballarat. I submit that these matters are not covered by the specific clause now under discussion, and that, therefore, the honorable member is out of order and will be continuing to defy the Chair in proceeding upon his threatened course. I suggest, further, although he is a new member, and thus has a right to be given every latitude, that you should make the honorable gentleman understand that he cannot longer continue to defy the Chair. I emphasize that none of his remarks are relevant; that, indeed, they are entirely out of order, and ought not to be continued or repeated.


Mr RYAN - I have no intention of defying the Chair, or of disregarding any. of your rulings, sir; but, at the same time, I must, within the Standing Orders, express myself in such a way as to convey my real reason for moving the postponement of this clause. I am not. referring to anything that is in the clause, but am setting out my reasons why the Committee should not proceed with it.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! Will the honorable member please resume his seat? The honorable member has now again declared that he is not referring to anything. that is contained in the clause. His motion is, in effect, that the clause be postponed. I have asked him to confine himself to a statement of his reasons, within the terms of that clause, and of the Act with which it is associated, and not to go outside of them. I once more request him to confine himself to those specific matters.


Mr RYAN - You say, Mr. Chairman, that I must confine myself to matters within the clause. I am directing attention to things that are not in the clause, but which I want to have put into it.


Mr Hughes - Now the honorable member's observations, if they are not out. of order, are suggesting an infringement of the Marconi patent, and are equally unacceptable.


The CHAIRMAN -. - Order ! I ask the Prime Minister, and all honorable members to cease from interjecting, in order that theChair may have an opportunity of hearing the debate, and deciding whether the proceedings are or are not in order.


Mr RYAN - I do not know how long the Prime Minister proposes to proceed this afternoon with the consideration of the NavigationBill. If he will give an intimation, it may facilitate matters at this particular stage. Meanwhile, I am determined that the Government shall not make any progress if I can prevent it.







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