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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr Wheeler - I rise to make a personal explanation, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker. While you are in your present mood of determination I do not want to run the risk of being escorted from the chamber, butI should like to canvass your ruling that, having been on the opposite side of the chamber while the division was in preparation, I had to remain on that side of the chamber and be counted there. My personal explanation is that, in the spirit of the approaching festive season, I was engrossed in happy conversation with the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), who is Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and that, in deference to your ruling, when I attempted to cross the floor to my own side of the chamber, 1 went back to my position with the honorable member for Melbourne. The technical point I wish to raise is that I believe that I was at liberty to cross at that stage to my own side of the chamber, because you had not then completed naming the tellers. However, as I say, in deference to your wishes, I returned to the Opposition side and was counted there. I ask you now, Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, was 1 not at liberty to join my own side, in view of the fact that you had not completed the naming of the tellers?

Mr. ACTING DEPUTYSPEAKERThe honorable member for Mitchell is making a personal explanation, and that is the only part of his speech that I shall accept. He is not in a position to canvass my ruling.

In committee:

Clauses 1 to 6 - by leave - taken together and agreed to.

Clause 7 (Employment of officers and employees).

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