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Thursday, 8 November 1956

Dr EVATT - My question is supplementary to that asked by the honorable member for Hindmarsh. Would the Prime Minister consider any request by the Opposition for a meeting of the House to discuss what the Opposition regarded as a matter of substance and importance? 1 take it that he would do so.

Mr MENZIES - Yes. I should, naturally, pay great attention to any such proposal that came from the members of the Opposition or, indeed, from any members of the House, although we should have to make our decision on it. We recognize quite clearly that, at a time like this, large policy decisions in relation to a critical state of affairs ought to be exposed to the view of the House. We shall act on that principle in determining whether it is necessary to recall honorable members at any time. I think they will all agree that ;! would be rather foolish and wasteful to require them to come back here every week for an hour or so if there were no particularly important developments. That is why 1 propose the course of conduct that I have mentioned. We shall not take the step of proroguing the Parliament until the present critical state of affairs has ended and, therefore, the chance that a sudden recall of the Parliament will be necessary has disappeared.

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