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Wednesday, 28 July 1920


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member for Dalley says that the Minister charges him with wasting time, and he objects. I ask the Minister to withdraw the remark.


Mr HUGHES - Of courser if the honorable member says that his object was not to waste time, I withdraw the remark ; but honorable members generally know perfectly well that that was the intention of the honorable member and of every honorable member on that side, and I do not see why any one should take umbrage at a plain statement of fact. Let me .remind honorable members what has been done in this House, not once, but hundreds of times. I refer to the Hansard report of the 18th November, 1913, page 3265, when the Government Preference Prohibition Bill was before the House.


Mr Tudor - You were on this side then.


Mr HUGHES - I know I was; and I only desire to show what has been done here many times. .There was a motion by Mr., now Sir William Irvine, that the Bill be read' a third time. The question was not put from the Chair at all, but the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. McDonald) rose to speak. He had not got further than " Mr. Speaker " when he was arrested by the then member for Wentworth (Mr. Kelly), who proposed " That the question be now put." Here we have three things one after the other - a motion by Sir William Irvine for the third reading of the Bill, an attempt by the honorable member for Kennedy to say something to the Chair, and a motion by the then honorable member for Wentworth " That the question be now put "'; and the latter motion was forthwith put" and carried. There were dozens and dozens of such cases at that time, as, apparently the usual way of carrying on the business. I take it as one of the most glowing tributes to my tolerance that I said very little at that particular time; indeed, I do not know what was the matter with me. I venture to say that there is nothing in the Standing Orders at all to Support the contention of the honorable member for West Sydney. There is, Mr. Deputy Speaker, in the very nature and object of the Standing Orders the support to which you must look for your ruling. The object of these Standing Orders is to prevent waste of time. If the ruling the honorable member for West Sydney would have you give is upheld, all I can say is that these Standing Orders are absolutely useless, for two hours and ten minutes could be taken up on any motion before it could be moved " That the question be now put." But as we have now each occupied about twenty minutes in discussing the matter, I move -

That the question be now put.







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