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Wednesday, 1 May 1957

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Leader of the House) . - by leave - I move -

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent Order of the Day No. 2, General Business, being proceeded with forthwith.

I might explain to the House that this action has been taken so that this measure will not be proceeded with without adequate opportunity for the House to study its provisions. The Government has indicated, not in the House, to the mover of the legislation that it will provide adequate opportunity for this important social measure to be fully considered.

Mr Ward - Is the Government supporting the measure?

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - The Government has taken the attitude, which it has conveyed to members of the Government parties, that on a social issue such as this it proposes to leave it to the judgment and conscience of every individual member of the Government parties to deck; whether he should accord the measure support. I think the wisdom of that course will be apparent. I certainly would hope that no attempt would be made to treat a bill of this kind along purely partypolitical lines, and I gather that that is noi the intention of honorable gentlemen opposite. The reason for adopting the procedural course I have outlined is to enable the measure to be considered when the House finds it opportune to do so, rather than to leave it in the category of private members' business, and therefore subject to the infrequency of opportunities for debate that private members' business normally receives.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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