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Wednesday, 17 February 1932

Dr EARLE PAGE (Cowper) . - On behalf of the Australian Country party, I congratulate you, sir, on your elevation to the important position of Speaker, and assure you of the support of the members of this party in carrying out the difficult duties of your office. I am confident that you will bring to that task the qualities of impartiality and justness, because I remember that, many years ago, before you entered this Parliament, you were responsible for an extraordinarily fair piece of dealing in connexion with myself which demonstrated to me the innate justness and fairness of your character. I am satisfied that those qualities will characterize your actions as Speaker.

I hope that during the term of this Parliament you will carry out the practice of previous Speakers, and recognize, in their turn, the members of the several parties in the House as they rise to take part in a debate. That method has been used in previous parliaments. It was adopted when the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) was Prime Minister, and also when other governments were in office, and the practice is observed at the present time in the British

House of Commons, where the various parties are recognized in their turn in the matter of calls from the Chair. I trust that this practice will be followed in this chamber. At the same time, I point out that members of the Country party are occupying their present seats in this chamber to suit their own convenience. They desire, so far as possible, to sit together. The object of the Country party in coining to this Parliament is to put into effect, at the earliest possible moment, the policy that was jointly agreed upon by the United Australia party and the Country party prior to the election. So longas the Government carriesout the policy on which the people voted, it can rest assured of the support of this party.

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