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Thursday, 25 May 1939

Mr LAZZARINI (Werriwa) .- The action of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in attempting to deprive honorable members of their rights hardly squares with the splendid statement of the right honorable gentleman, made a few weeks ago, that he hoped to restore to Parliament its deliberative character, and provide every honorable member with opportunities to express his views. His promise to restore the democratic nature of the Parliament was given wide publicity, but his actions yesterday and to-day in moving to deprive private members of their rights, are in direct contrast to his promise. It would appear that no change from the practice of the past is likely during the term of office of the present Prime Minister. In order to rush away to his dugout by the 9th June, the right honorable gentleman, like his predecessors, seeks to close the mouths of private members.

Mr Menzies - The motion will suit the honorable member, who, doubtless, has made some appointments for the following week.

Mr LAZZARINI - I have not made any appointments for that week. Much as I dislike Canberra in the winter, I am prepared to remain here as long as is necessary to deal with the business that should be brought forward. I hope that honorable members generally will vote against the attempt to deprive them of their privileges so early in these sittings of the House. Although Parliament has sat for only three weeks, the Government is prepared, even at this early date, to take this action to close the mouths of the elected representatives of the people. It ismost reprehensible.

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