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Friday, 26 November 1965


Mr COURTNAY (DAREBIN, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to you, Mr. Speaker. I preface it by saying that you have always impartially and, I think, correctly reproved members who have sought to use question time for the purpose of disseminating political propaganda rather than to seek information. Has your attention been drawn to a comparison made by a well known political correspondent between the operation of question time in the House of Commons and in this House wherein he states that our question time suffers because of the verbosity of Ministers in replying to questions? Could the practice adopted by some Ministers of using question time as a vehicle for blatant party politics, as on two occasions yesterday, be considered?


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The subject of questions without notice - or question time, as the honorable member described it - is a matter for the Standing Orders Committee. With regard to procedures in the House, the Chair is dependent entirely upon the co-operation and goodwill of all honorable members. Faults are not to be found on one side only. Every effort is made to enable the business to flow smoothly. However, a few honorable members are inclined to disregard this aim, and that makes things very difficult for the Chair. At times an honorable member may appear to be a little more severly dealt with than the circumstances would seem to warrant, but honorable members do not always see the pattern of conduct from the rear.







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