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Wednesday, 6 November 1946

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Leader of the Opposition) . - The Opposition has submitted the nomination of the honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. McDonald) for the Speakership of this House, not because it entertains some such fanciful idea as that the numbers will be with it in the ballot, but because it considers that it ought to seize this opportunity to say one or two things about the Speakership. We believe, and imagine that all honorable members will believe, that it is the function of Mr. Speaker to be scrupulously impartial in his treatment of both sides of the House. All honorable members who were in the last Parliament will recall that on, at any rate, two occasions, it became necessary for the members of the Opposition to put into formal shape their protest against rulings given by Mr.. Speaker in that Parliament, and against what they believe to be his partial treatment of members of the House. That is why we take this opportunity of submitting a candidate in opposition to the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Rosevear). I want to say right away, so that there may be no confusion about this discussion, that our attitude on this matter, and the protest upon which we build it, are not in any day due to some personal hostility to the honorable member for Dalley, as he knows. It is not based upon the idea that he lacks the ability to perform the functions of the Chair, because everybody on this side of the House recognizes his ability, and acknowledges it freely. Our complaint is not, and never has been, based upon personal grounds. It is and has been based upon our belief that, in a Parliament constituted as this one is, scrupulous fairness should be observed in the treatment of both sides; and it is in order that we may have an opportunity of securing that treatment that we nominate the honorable member for Corangamite for the Chair, and invite the House to elect him.

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