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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member may not debate the purpose of the bill. He must confine his remarks to reasons why it should be recommitted.

Mr ANTHONY - That is what I am proceeding to do. The measure should be recommitted because honorable members were prevented from discussing certain important features of it which abrogate the right of producers to control their own industry.

Mr Scully - I rise to order. Is the honorable member entitled to discuss the merits of the measure in this manner?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member for Richmond may only" state reasons why the bill should be recommitted. He may not discuss the merits of the bill.

Mr ANTHONY - I am not discussing the merits of the bill. I am dealing with the manner in which it was passed through the committee stage. You, sir, may not have been in the chamber at the time, but the fact is that the Temporary Chairman ofCommittees (Mr. Barnard) put the question while members were temporarily engaged otherwise, and within a couple of seconds declared the question carried. There were certain reasons why the honorable gentleman may have done this. He may have been trying to expedite the business, but he also may have been trying to protect the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (Mr. Scully) in connexion with the class of legislation which he is trying to push through Parliament. I am not able to say what his reason was.

Mr Scully - That is a reflection on the Chair.

Mr ANTHONY - The only reflection on the Chair was the action of the Temporary Chairman himself. In a few minutes a bill designed to control the meat industry, to create a producercontrol board, and to transfer power from the Controller of Meat Supplies to the Minister has been put through the committee as one question, instead of clause by clause. At the com- mittee stage honorable members are accustomed to analyse the various provisions of a measure. I rose to discuss certain vital aspects of this bill, but I was told as soon as rose that I was too late. That is one of my reasons for moving for the recommittal of the bill. This Parliament is a deliberative assembly. The duty of both ministerial and opposition members is to analyse such legislation as the Government submits to the Parliament. At times, the analysis by members of theOpposition may be destructive. At other times, even ministerial supporters may admit that it is constructive. It must be conceded that opposition members have a duty to perform.

We represent in this House at least48. per cent. of the total electorate.

Mr Beazley - I rise to order. Is the honorable member in order in discussing any matter other than the question of whether the bill should be recommitted?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member for Richmond is en- , titled to give reasons in support of his motion for the recommittal of the bill. The Chair is paying close attention to his statements. Should he transgress the Standing Orders, he will be called to order.

Mr ANTHONY - The honorable member for Fremantle is a new member and not acquainted with the rules of procedure of this House. When a bill is. introduced it has to pass the first, second and third readings. It is well known that after the second reading the House resolves itself into committee where the clauses of the bill are discussed seriatim. Honorable members are then afforded the opportunity to submit amendments to the clauses individually if theyso desire. My objection is that, before an opportunity was given to discuss any clause in this bill, the Temporary Chairman of Committees (Mr. Barnard) put the bill as a whole with such expedition that members of the Australian Country party were prevented from discussing different . clauses. During the second-reading debate, the Minister for Commerce (Mr. Scully), and the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Pollard), made certain references to what I had said in regard to the exercise of power by the Controller of Meat Supplies.

Mr.Pollard. -Is the honorable member in order in citing statements by the Minister or by me during the secondreading debate in support of his evasion of the question. As a. matter of fact, he was "slow on the jump".

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