Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 13 April 1961

Mr FAILES (Lawson) .- With but four minutes of the time for this debate left, I wish to say briefly that I believe that the debate has been very profitable. It has at least highlighted the report which, I venture to say, has not been read thoroughly by many honorable members on both sides of the House. It is a large report. Back-bench members of the Opposition are now interjecting. They do not want me to have even the remaining four minutes in which to speak. The report covers 173 pages, not counting 70 pages of appendices, and is a very comprehensive document. I venture to suggest that it has been generally approved, and the problem which now confronts the Parliament is whether the recommendations should be implemented, and if so, when and why.

May I point out that there are political aspects connected with amendment of the Constitution and there are also practical aspects. The question is whether the States will agree to amend the Constitution, lt has been said that the States were invited to participate in the inquiry made by the committee. It is noticeable that only three of the States chose to submit evidence to the committee. Then there is the question of presentation, which has been very fairly dealt with by the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick). It would obviously be impossible to submit to the people in a referendum all the recommendations made in the report, but the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) has made what I believe to be the only constructive proposal put forward in this debate. He suggests that time should be set aside for this report to be considered in some detail. The fact of the matter is that there are many points in the report and many recommendations which will not be accepted generally, either in this place or outside, but there are quite a lot of recommendations that require consideration and which, I believe, would be accepted by the people. In considering the political aspects of the matter as well as the practical aspects, we must be careful not to overlook the national aspect. The rabble in the Opposition back benches is determined not to give me the opportunity to use the few minutes at my disposal in order to say that I believe that the time will come when the recommendations in thisreport will be implemented, with the approval of the people.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The time allotted to precedence of general business has expired. The honorable member for Lawson will have leave to continue his speech when the debate is resumed. The resumption of the debate will be made an Order of the Day under " General Business" for the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.

Suggest corrections