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Wednesday, 7 December 1960

Mr TURNBULL (Mallee) .- Once again I feel obliged to direct attention to the insincerity of members of the Labour Party - and that is the most moderate word I can use. The Leader of the House (Mr. Harold Holt) has told the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) that if Government business ends at a certain time, other matters may be discussed. Let me remind the House of an answer that was given in 1949 by Mr. Chifley to a question put to him regarding the order of business in this Parliament.

Mr Reynolds - On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is there not a standing order that prevents laborious repetition?

Mr SPEAKER - Order! There is no substance in the point of order.

Mr TURNBULL - In October, 1949, the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) addressed the following question to the then Prime Minister: -

The atmosphere of the House strongly suggests that this is the last day of the session. Standing Order 119 provides-

Mr Jones - I raise a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is the honorable member entitled to make the same speech practically every fortnight?

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member is in order.

Mr TURNBULL - The question continued -

Standing Order 119 provides that if motions have not been disposed of two hours after the time fixed for the meeting of the House, the debate thereon shall be interrupted.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I must ask the House to come to order. There is so much noise that it is very difficult to hear the honorable member for Mallee.

Mr TURNBULL - Continuing the question -

As the list of Government business indicates that the period of two hours will be greatly exceeded, will the Prime Minister provide an opportunity for the House to discuss the motion standing in my name relative to a gift of food to the United Kingdom, when Government business has been concluded?

Mr. Chifley,the Prime Minister of the day, replied -

The answer to the right honorable gentleman's question is " No ". The House will adjourn to-day.

Speaking on the same subject, Mr. Chifley said -

I know that honorable members on this side of the House are anxious to be in their electorates. We have electorates to attend to and we do not want to be here all the time.

Those were the words of the great leader of the Labour Party. When he was asked whether he would afford an opportunity for a discussion on a gift of food to the United Kingdom, he said, " No, the House will adjourn to-day ". He said that honorable members on his side wanted to get back to their electorates. The honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard), who is now trying to interject, was in the House at that time, and he did not raise his voice in protest. This patent insincerity of members of the Opposition needs to be nailed down, and I will nail it.

Mr Daly - I raise a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not think the statements that the honorable member is making are authentic. He has refused to cite the dates on which these statements were made, and the pages of " Hansard " at which they appeared. I would like to have that information.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member is in order.

Mr TURNBULL - The date of the question by the right honorable member for Cowper was 27th October. 1949. and the date of the second passage I quoted was 1st June, 1949. I shall not waste any more time on those quotations. They are in " Hansard " for anybody to see. The insubstantial points of order that have been raised clearly indicate that the Labour Party is frightened of these quotations and of its record in this matter. The honorable member for Lalor, the honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen), the honorable member for Port Adelaide (Mr. Thompson) and other honorable members who were in the Parliament at that time are at present in their places, and they know that these things happened. Yet they are content to have the Leader of the Opposition make a speech condemning the Government for doing exactly what they condoned in 1949. This kind of insincerity is not in the best traditions of the Parliament, and surely a man like the Leader of the Opposition should aim rather higher.

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