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Thursday, 13 October 1955

Sir ERIC HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - in reply - I do not intend to take up the time of the House on this matter, but I think we should clearly understand just what has happened. The House has had an unequalled opportunity - I do not suppose it has been equalled before in the history of this country over a score of years or more - to debate in detail the Estimates which, in themselves, enable a form of grievance debate to be indulged in. The honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Keon) has had time - almost unlimited time - to raise whatever matters he might want to discuss in this House. It was rather significant that while the consideration of the Estimates was in progress, in the main the seats allotted to the corner party were devoid of members in the chamber, and members of that party did not avail themselves of the opportunity to grieve if they desired to do so.

Mr Keon - I rise to order ! The VicePresident of the Executive Council knows perfectly well that because of the unnecessary badgering indulged in by himself and by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), we were limited to one speaker in fourteen speakers on the Estimates, and consequently we did not get even an opportunity to address the chamber during the consideration of certain sections of the Estimates.

Sir ERIC HARRISON (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think that that statement is a reflection on the Chair in relation to the calling of honorable members. The manner in which the calls are allotted in this House has nothing to do with me. The main point is that last night this House was continued in session on the adjournment debate until about midnight, although the motion for the adjournment was moved at about 10.45 p.m. That debate provided the honorable member with almost unlimited time in which to grieve, and I think that on calm reflection he will admit that this is just a little bit of sham fighting on his part to delay the expedition of a bill that is before the House. We intend to proceed with the matter, notwithstanding the objections of the honorable member.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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