Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4471


Mr BARNARD (Bass) - Mr Deputy Speaker,1 join in the debate on the motion to suspend Standing Orders because the Leader of the House (Mr Swartz) ha> made one or two points concerning ministerial statements to which I wish to respond. It is not very often that I disagree with the Leader of the House on these matters because it is true that we do have discussions about statements that are to be made in the House. But it is also quite clear to ail honourable members that debates on ministerial statements that are made in thi:; Howe are not always confined merely to 2 speakers. There are many occasions when a full scale debate is arranged by agreement. I have no objection to the Leader of the House being adamant about a debate being adjourned after a statement has been delivered and a reply has been made by one member from this side of the House. But the proposition that the Minister is now proposing is entirely different. The circumstances are completely changed The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair) has suggested that there ought to be a vote on this issue. T thought that this was the attitude which had been expressed very clearly by the honourable member for Eden-Monaro (Mr Allan Fraser), lt certainly was clearly expressed by the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby).

What is the position with regard to a vote on an important issue such as this? I do not want to transgress the rules of the House. But the p'ain fact is that, as J understand the position, the Minister for Primary Industry challenged members of the Opposition to a debate on this issue. If the circumstances are that the Minister has asked for a debate, has suggested that there ought to be a debate and has challenged members on this side of the House to a debate, the motion moved by the hon ourable member for Eden-Monaro to suspend the Standing Orders for this purpose is a legitimate request.

I direct attention to those honourable members who sit in that corner of the House and who claim to represent the wool growers of this country. They have made this claim despite the fact that they have failed in this respect. But they claim to repre,sent wool growers. Again 1 know that I might be in difficulty if I refer to the crisis in the wool industry, but members of the Country Party cla m to represent those engaged in the wool industry. If one of their members, who is the Minister for Primary Industry, has issued a challenge for a debate on this subject with honourable members on this side of the House, this motion presents a clear opportunity for a debate to take place.

This issue is an important one. The question is whether this ban ought to be applied or whether it ought to be lifted. The opinion of honourable members on this side of the House and. indeed. I think he opinion of some members on the Government side of the House, if not the opinion of those members in the Country Party corner, is that this ban should not be lifted. 1 think tha* this is the general consensus among the wool growers themselves. The Standing Orders do not permit us to debate the issue. We are speaking to a motion for the suspension of the S anding Orders. But the Minister for Primary Industry has had the opportunity to make his statement.

The Leader of the House has now StIffgested that there ought to be a vote on the issue. If there is to be a vote on this important issue, quite clearly the substance of the argument advanced by the honourable member for Eden-Monaro, very capably supported by the honourable member for Riverina who did not transgress the Standing Orders in the debate but who put his case very clearly that there should b; a suspension of Standing Orders which would enable this matter to be debated fully, leads to the question: What has the Government to hide? Sitting on the front bench now is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr Anthony). He is the former Minister for Primary Industry. 1 think that he was glad to hand the portfolio over to his successor.

But the Deputy Prime Minister is here. Surely he has something to say on the question as to whether this ban ought to be lifted or whether the embargo ought to continue.

The Minister for Primary Industry has made a statement in relation to this matter. The opportunity now exists for the Minister to accept our challenge. If he issued a challenge to honourable members on this side of the House, we now challenge the Government to allow a full scale debate on this matter. Therefore, I support (he motion for the suspension of Standing Orders. Here is a clear opportunity to undertake a debate in the way proposed. The Leader of the House has acquiesced to the extent that he is now prepared to allow the House to vote on the issue. But surely it is not a proper procedure to allow the House to vote on a most important matter before that matter has been considered fully by honourable members who. wish to express their views one way or the other.

In these circumstances, if the Leader of the House is prepared to allow a vote, I suggest that he might be prepared to allow a debate. After all, if we are to make a decision in this manner, there are members on this side of the House who would like to express an opinion on it. Therefore, I support the motion moved by the honourable member for Eden-Monaro and seconded by the honourable member for Riverina that the Standing Orders should be suspended to enable a full scale debate to take place in this House. Then this Parliament will be in a position to record a vote and to make a decision. I believe that that decision would be in favour of the proposition that has been put to the House by the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson).







Suggest corrections