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Tuesday, 12 October 1971
Page: 2156


Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) (Leader of the Opposition) - I support the motion to suspend Standing Orders so that the honourable member for Hindmarsh (Mr Clyde Cameron) may move a motion that he be heard. This is a matter of intense interest to all honourable members. The difference between the interest they show is that members of the Australian Labor Party are prepared to state it publicly at Press conferences and at public meetings. Ministers are prepared to discuss these matters only before invitation audiences or at question time in answer to questions allegedly without notice. Even so it is impossible to quell the spontaneous interest that members of the Liberal Party hold in this matter.

The. Liberal Party is doing its best to shoot out its brains. Not only the honourable member for McMillan (Mr Buchanan) but also the honourable member for Macarthur (Mr Jeff Bate) have lost their preselection. Yet undeterred the honourable member for McMillan, representing a great industrial area, was quick to his feet today to ask a question of no less than the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon). The Prime Minister naturally wishes to express his views on the matter. His views expressed before an invited audience yesterday received very little cover in the mass media. He is irked by the fact that the views expressed by the honourable member for Hindmarsh-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I did remind the honourable member for Hindmarsh that this debate is limited to the reasons why Standing Orders should be suspended. The whole matter proposed to be raised is not open for debate.


Mr WHITLAM -- 1 will limit myself to a few dispassionate reasons for suspending Standing Orders to enable this matter to be debated. There can be no question of the interest that all political parties in this House profess in this issue. At question time there were opportunities sought and taken for Ministers to express their views on what the honourable member for Hindmarsh and I said on these matters. All that is now sought is an opportunity for the honourable member for Hindmarsh to say himself what he thinks and what he says. Accordingly I would imagine that those honourable members, even among the members of the Liberal and Country Parties, who believe that there is no element of human relations in this country more topical, more crucial than industrial relations will support this motion.

It is not effective parliamentary democracy for these matters to be kept under wraps and under control as they are at this time. Ten minutes on the Estimates is not adequate time in which to debate these matters. There is no . ministerial statement on this subject, and when a Bill at last is born the debate on it will be limited to its terms and to the long title of it. Accordingly, if honourable members really want to debate this matter, this prime matter of public concern, in the national Parliament they will support this motion.







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