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Friday, 15 May 1970

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The question is: That the ruling be dissented from'. Those who are of that opinion-

Mr BARNARD - Mr Speaker,I understand that I am entitled to speak to this motion.

Mr SPEAKER -If you wish to. (Mr Barnard having submitted in writing his objection to the ruling) -

Mr BARNARD - No-one regrets more than I do, Mr Speaker, having to move dissent from your ruling. No honourable member on this side of the House would want to take this course of action unless he was satisfied d that the amendment which has now been moved by the honourable member for Casey (Mr Howson) was a direct negative of the motion of censure moved the morning in the form of an Opposition amendment. I believe that what the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) has already said in relation to the failure of the Government to make copies of the amendment available to honourable members on this side of the House indicates quite clearly that the Government wanted to be in a position in which it could push this amendment through without any further discussion. Without arguing the merits of the case and without going over the ground that the Leader of the Opposition has already covered in order to show that in his opinion and in the opinion of honourable members of this side of the House this amendment is a direct negative of the amendment moved by the Opposition this morning, I submit, Mr Speaker, that you should reconsider your decision. Because you have given this ruling, we have been forced into the position of having to move dissent from your ruling.

We have had the opportunity to hear the amendment moved by the honourable member for Casey read on only 2 occasions - once by him and then by you, Sir. We have not been extended the courtesy of having copies of the amendment made available to us. Quite clearly, they could have been circulated in this chamber. The Opposition did not hesitate to make copies of its amendment available to members of the Government parties. They clearly knew the terms of that amendment. Yet we are supposed to accept a situation in which the honourable member for Casey comes into this chamber with an amendment which had been in the hands of the Government all the afternoon. There is no honourable member who does not appreciate that there has been great difficulty in the Government parties in getting honourable members to agree to accept the amendment. Earlier this afternoon the Deputy Government Whip presented the amendment to the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Kevin Cairns), hoping that he would change his mind. Of course no-one expected him to make any different decision from that which he made-

Motion (by Mr Snedden) proposed:

That the question be now put.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I rise on a point of order. I ask you, Mr Speaker, for a ruling. Is it in order for the motion that the question be put to be moved before the seconder of the motion has an opportunity to speak?


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I disagree with your ruling, Mr Speaker. I move that Mr Speaker's ruling be dissented from-

Mr SPEAKER - I beg the honourable member's pardon. I am informed by the Clerk that I am in error. I call the honourable member for Hindmarsh.

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