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Thursday, 5 April 1973
Page: 1127


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Gippsland must leave the chamber. (The honourable member for Gippsland thereupon left the chamber)


Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr Speaker, I submit that there are 2 other motions which must be put to the House first. Before putting them, however, I would suggest that the right honourable member for Higgins and the honourable member for Barker should be given the same opportunity to withdraw their remarks as was given to the honourable member for Gippsland who refused to take it. There are 2 motions which still have to be put but so that the time of the House may be saved I submit that you might give the right honourable member for Higgins and the honourable member for Barker the opportunity to withdraw the offensive remarks.


Mr Gorton - I thank the Prime Minister for his care for my welfare and my rights, such as they appear to be in this House, but I do suggest that he is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, there are not 2 motions to be put because there is already before the Chair one motion which has been moved- by the Leader of the Opposition and that motion needs first to be dealt with.


Mr SPEAKER - That is correct.


Mr Gorton - Thank you, Mr Speaker. That being so, it would probably be out of order for me to speak to the matter which the Prime Minister raised but I will be delighted to do so when it is in order.


Mr Snedden - I present to the Clerk of the House the motion of dissent.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have 2 motions before the Chair already and they must be dealt with prior to the motion of the Leader of the Opposition being put. The question now is that the right honourable member for Higgins be suspended from the service of the House.


Mr Gorton - You are ruling that I am now able to speak to that motion.


Mr SPEAKER - No, .not to speak to the motion. I am offering the right honourable gentleman the same opportunity as I offered the honourable member for Gippsland. If he cares to withdraw the remark the motion will be withdrawn.


Mr Gorton - I take it that I am at liberty to explain why I will not withdraw.


Mr SPEAKER - No. The right honourable gentlemen either withdraws the remark or he does not. The right honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Gorton - You are saying I cannot withdraw? You are saying I cannot explain why I will not withdraw it?


Mr SPEAKER - No.


Mr Gorton - Well, this really is a Rafferty.


Mr SPEAKER - Not at all. I named the right honourable member for Higgins and the question now . is that the right honourable member be suspended from the service of the House. (The bells having been rung)


Mr KILLEN (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) - On a point of order, Mr Speaker - standing order 100 provides that on a motion of dissent from Mr Speaker's ruling debate shall proceed forthwith. I submit that the words 'proceed forthwith* predicate that this debate on the motion dissenting from your ruling should take priority over the other 2 motions which are before the Chair.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! It does no such thing. There are 2 motions before the Chair already.


Mr Staley - No, there are not.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! There are 2 motions before the Chair already. The motion is for suspension of the Standing Orders for the right honourable member for Higgins - I am sorry; the motion is that he be suspended from the sittings of the House for 24 hours.


Mr Staley - On a point of order, Mr Speaker - members have been named but no motions have been put.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The question is that the right honourable member for Higgins be suspended from the sittings of the House. Those of that opinion say aye. To the contrary no. I think the ayes have it.


Mr Snedden - A division is required.


Mr SPEAKER - The ayes will pass to the right of the Chair and the noes to the left of the Chair. I appoint the honourable members for Wide Bay and Bonython tellers for the ayes and the honourable members for Henty and Calare tellers for the noes.

In division:


Mr Garland - On a point of order, Mr Speaker - do I understand you to have ruled that, when a motion of dissent from your ruling has been put to you, that cannot take priority over another motion before the Chair? If so, if the House were of a mind to disagree with one of your rulings it could not be discussed until after the substantive motion.


Mr SPEAKER - I have already given the answer to that point of order to the honourable member for Moreton. The motion of dissent does not supersede this motion.


Mr Wentworth - On a point of order, Mr Speaker - I have just asked for May's 'Parliamentary Practice'. There is no copy on the table. Does that mean that you are going to disregard it?


Mr SPEAKER - Order!


Mr Whitlam - You should not name him but certify him.


Mr SPEAKER - The relevant order is standing order 304.


Mr Sinclair - Mr Speaker, those words of the Prime Minister are offensive to me and I ask that the Prime Minister withdraw them. Mr Speaker, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.


Mr Malcolm Fraser - Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister said that this man should be not named but certified. Is that going to be allowed?


Mr SPEAKER - I ask the Prime Minister to withdraw.


Mr Whitlam - Mr Speaker, I withdraw.


Mr Snedden - Look at that big courageous fellow.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! He has withdrawn the statement.


Mr Katter - May I ask a question of you, Mr Speaker? When the new Standing Orders come out, will they have the present cover or a swastika on the front?


Mr Wentworth - Or a hammer and sickle?


Mr SPEAKER - Order!

Question put:

That the right honourable member for Higgins be suspended from the service of the House.







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