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Thursday, 10 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - I protest against this sudden change in the order of business.

Mr Lyons - The business to be dealt with is of minor importance and should take only a few minutes.

Mr BEASLEY - The Government may think that it is a minor matter; but other honorable members may think differently. My party has not been consulted in regard to this proposed change. We have prepared ourselves to deal with the business in the order in which it appears on the business-paper, and consequently we should be consulted before any alteration is requested. If the order of business can be changed at the slightest whim of the Government, honorable members who may have spent a considerable time in preparing themselves to discuss certain subjects, may be out of the House at the time such subjects are brought forward. This would not be fair. The five members of my party may be particularly interested in special items, but may by reason of the chopping and changing in the order of business, lose their opportunity to speak. The Government has already taken action of this kind three or four times; and we shall continue to protest against it. Yesterday, when the Postmaster-General (Mr. Fenton) desired a re-arrangement of the business to enable him to move the motion for the second reading of the bill dealing with wireless broadcasting at a particular time, he consulted us in the party room, and we offered no objection to the alteration. But I shall continue to protest against the practice of the Prime Minister in coming into the House at any time, and moving for an alteration of the order of business without any consultation with honorable members. We are entitled to the same courtesy as was extended to us yesterday by the Postmaster-General.

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