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Thursday, 2 June 1949


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Burke) - Order!


Mr Holt - What was the Minister trying to convey if not that?


Mr POLLARD - Notice has been given to-day of a motion that has some reference to the deprivation of the rights of honorable members of this House. When I endeavour to make a speech that contains something unpalatable to honorable members opposite there is immediately a howl of protest from them, which they raise in an endeavour to interrupt me. The honorable member for Maranoa has waxed righteously indignant to-day at some reference made to him in a letter that was quoted by the Minister for Information last night Not once at any stage of the Minister's speech did the Minister state that he concurred in the allegations that were made in that letter. Not once did he state or imply that he concurred in the allegations made.


Mr Menzies - He just threw them out, he did not make them.


Mr Harrison - He just read the letter for pleasure.


Mr POLLARD - I repeat that not once did the Minister say that he concurred in the allegations or believed them to be true. The honorable member for Maranoa takes very great exception to the allegations. I do not blame him for that. He is perfectly justified in denying the accusations made in the letter.


Mr Gullett - Sit down!


Mr POLLARD - Those allegations were not made by the Minister. Let us have a look at the lily-white honorable member for Maranoa.

Honorable members interjecting.


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER - The Minister will resume his seat for a moment. The Chair is in charge of the House and intends to see that the debate is conducted in an orderly manner.


Mr POLLARD - Let ns have a look, I repeat, at this lily-white honorable member for Maranoa.


Mr Gullett - I rise to order ! As you, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, know better than I do that under Standing Orders personally offensive attacks are out of order, I ask you to check the Minister if he continues with his outrageous attack on the honorable member for Maranoa.


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member .concerned may ask for a ruling.


Mr Gullett - I have referred to Standing Orders.


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member will not have an opportunity of quoting any Standing Order unless he is careful. The Chair is listening to the Minister. Honorable members are responsible for what they 3ay to the House, but the Chair is responsible for ensuring that unparliamentary language is not used. The Chair, other than that, has no control.


Mr Holt - I rise to order! I refer you, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, to Standing Order 272, which states in part - !Nb Member shall use offensive words against either House of Parliament or any Member thereof . . . and all imputations of improper motives and nil personal reflections on Members shall be considered highly disorderly.

That is irrespective of whether such reflections are couched in parliamentary terms or not. If they are offensive, or impute improper motives, they are highly disorderly and I ask you, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, to apply Standing Orders accordingly.


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER - The Chair has listened to the Minister and the Minister has said, "Let us have a look at this lily-white honorable member for Maranoa ". In the opinion of the Chair that is not unparliamentary language. Any honorable member who dis-' agrees with the ruling of the Chair may take a point of order.


Mr Anthony - I take the point of order that an honorable member should be referred to as " the honorable member for Maranoa " or whatever his constituency may be, and if it is your interpretation, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, that " lily-white " can be substituted for " honorable member " we shall have various other substitutions. I suggest, therefore, that you confine the Minister to the rules of the House and to the Standing Orders in respect of the manner in which he refers to honorable members.


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER - The point of order is valid, and the Minister must refer to an honorable member in correct manner.


Mr POLLARD - Very well. I shall defer to your ruling, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker. Let us have a look at this purist, the honorable member for Maranoa. Surely the honorable member would take that description-


Mr ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The Minister must refer to the honorable member in the proper manner.


Mr POLLARD - Let us have a look at the honorable member for Maranoa in all his purity. He protests that he has been badly dealt with and states that never, as far as he can recall, has he attacked an honorable member's character. Perhaps he has not done so, but he has gone so far as to deliberately misquote

Honorable members interjecting,







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