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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) (Leader of the Opposition) - I move:

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the debate on Notice No. 1 being continued for a further 30 minutes.

I move that motion so that the House may vote on this matter which has been on the notice paper since the House first sat. It is a matter upon which I want to express the view of the Opposition. Mr Deputy Speaker, as a distingushed member for Western Australia you would know that members of my Party, since 1961, have been insisting on the need for naval and maritime facilities on the Indian Ocean. My predecessor included that proposition in his policy speeches in that year, in 1963 and in 1966, and last October I undertook on behalf of my Party to co-operate with the Western Australian Government in providing general maritime facilities at Cockburn Sound. We have foreborne until this stage to speak on the matter because we wanted to know the Government's attitude on the two-fold proposition put by the honourable and gallant member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes). The Minister for the Navy (Mr Killen) expressed support - I apprehend that every honourable member in the House would now express it - for the proposition that a high priority on the defence programme should be given to the proposed naval base at Cockburn Sound.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - I raise a point of order. The Leader of the Opposition is speaking to the motion he has moved. In effect he is seeking to make the speech that he could have made to the substantive motion proposed by our colleague the honourable member for Chisholm. I suggest that the Leader of the Opposition is now going far beyond stating the reasons for his motion and in fact is seeking to debate the substantive issue, opportunities for which have been ' open to the Opposition throughout this morning, but which they have not so far taken.

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