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
Wednesday, 3 May 1961

Mr UREN (Reid) .- The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) says first that we have appointed a select committee to inquire into the question of granting a vote to aborigines in Australia and then he says that if we hurry the natives along to self-determination we shall be sorry for the results that will accrue. In other words, the honorable member for Hume has implied that the Opposition is hypocritical in bringing forward this proposal. The Minister for the Interior (Mr. Freeth), who is sitting at the table, also said that the Opposition was hypocritical in submitting the proposal. I remind honorable members that this Government has been in office since 1949 - for twelve years - and it has taken all that time to suggest the appointment of a select committee to consider this matter. It is only because the Government knew that the Opposition proposed submitting an amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act which had for its purpose the granting to Australian aborigines of the right to vote that it came forward with this gimmick in the shape of a select committee. We all remember that the Government appointed a select committee, known as the Constitutional Review Committee, to consider certain amendments to the Constitution. That committee consisted of six members from the Government side and six members from the Opposition. It sat for two years and its report has been before the Government for two years, but nothing has yet been done about implementing its recommendations. The select committee that is to be appointed on this occasion is to consist of four members from the Government side and three from the Opposition. The Opposition has already selected its three nominees, but when the Minister was asked whether the Government had selected its four members, there was no answer. He could not give us the names of the four Government nominees.

Mr Pearce - I rise to order. Is the honorable member in order in debating select committees when we are discussing the Commonwealth Electoral Bill?

Suggest corrections