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Friday, 27 November 1959

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The SerjeantatArms will return the honorable member for Corio to his place in the chamber.

Mr Timson - I rise to order. 1 do not think, Mr. Speaker, that you had directed that the bells be rung before the honorable member for Corio left the chamber.

Mr SPEAKER -The attention of the Chair had been directed to the state of the House. The honorable member for Corio was not within his rights in retiring after a quorum had been called-. A quorum is now present.

Mr Wight - I rise to order. 1 understand that Mr. Speaker Cameron gave a ruling to the effect that if, during a debate on the motion to adjourn, an honorable member directed Mr. Speaker's attention to the state of the House, the business of the House was concluded automatically and the House adjourned.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! 1 am unaware of any such interpretation of the Standing Orders.

Mr Opperman - Mr. Speaker, I desire to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member may make his personal explanation when the honorable member for Hume has concluded his remarks. I call the honorable member for Hume.

Mr ANDERSON - The honorable member for Reid assured us that there is no subversive movement within the Australian Labour Party. I quite agree. I do not think anybody believes that there is, although we feel that the Labour Party has been used by the Communists as the willing horse. The honorable member, in referring to the recent peace conference in Melbourne, said that the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick) had smeared it by calling it a Communist congress. Why should it be a smear to call it a Communist congress? Was it subversive? The honorable member for Reid, who has just completed his first year of service in this House, is, I think, definitely a popular member. He always fights a case very well. The only time when I find him unpopular is on occasions when he insists on speaking after 12 midnight during debate on motions for the adjournment of the House.

I should like to say one thing about yourself, Mr. Speaker. You have always been very fair and quite determined in your control of the House. The respect and popularity with which you are regarded have been earned by the direct methods which you employ in controlling the proceedings of this House. I hope that, in the future, you will continue in the same way and that you will look straight to your friends at question time.

Mr Opperman - I wish to make a personal explanation, Mr. Speaker, concerning my rapid exit from the House just before a quorum was called for. I was not aware that it had been called for, but I was anxious to observe the forms of the House and to have the requisite number of members in attendance. I think it is generally known that the Whips have that duty and obligation on their shoulders all the time. I thought that I was beating the gun when I left the chamber. I am sorry that I did not beat it and that it was necessary to return me to the jurisdiction of the House, particularly in view of the harmonious atmosphere which obviously prevails here this afternoon.

Mr SPEAKER - I think it is a case of putting the spurs into the willing horse.

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