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Friday, 5 June 1970

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I point out to the honourable member for Dawson that the question now before us is whether the Standing Orders should be suspended. The subject matter that the honourable member may introduce later will be a matter for debate, if and when the Standing Orders are suspended. At this stage the question is whether the Standing Orders are to be suspended.

Dr PATTERSON - I was leading up to the facts that will support my case that the Standing Orders should be suspended. In the first instance the Government made this shock announcement. It was debated .in this Parliament. The Minister stated that the industry supported it, in fact promoted it. It was not the industry at all. It was a body which is known to be a Country Party front. I refer to the Australian Wool Industry Council. The matter was then taken to the Senate and the Senate rejected the Government's intention. The Government's decision was bitterly attacked by wool growers. No action was taken by this Government until after the election and then it was taken, one might say, in the stealth of the night. The Government then decided to go ahead.

Only one course was open to the wool growers who were opposed to the lifting of the ban, and this was to ask the Australian Labor Party for assistance through the trade union movement. The trade union movement considered the position and in its wisdom made a judgment that until this matter had been decided by referendum or decided properly in this Parliament action should be taken to prevent the export of merino rams. The export of merino rams might be only a minor event in terms of the importance of the national Parliament, but in terms of economics and in terms of principle it could be a major matter. That is why I am moving for the suspension of the Standing Orders. For this Government flagrantly to take no notice of the Senate and to go ahead and try to impose its will on the people and the wool growers of this country is contemptible.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member is now getting outside the motion.

Dr PATTERSON - I do not want to say anything more than that. Those are the reasons why I believe the Standing Orders should be suspended. That would allow this matter to be debated. The Minister for Primary Industry made certain allegations this morning about the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam). He stated categorically that the industry is behind this move. It is not. Let us debate this matter now. Those are the terms on which I move for the suspension of the Standing Orders.

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