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Thursday, 12 April 1973
Page: 1394

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - Yes. The Leader of the House has emitted what I can only describe as a string of falsehoods. I want to put the record straight by recounting the course of events of this morning. I was asked to withdraw my second motion so that debate could proceed on the first one for the whole morning. I regarded this first motion as being of greater importance and I said that I would withdraw the second motion. I carried out my part of the bargain. The Government welched on its part of the bargain because after I had withdrawn the second motion the Government then welched on, and violated, its part of the pact. It moved the gag and truncated the debate.

Mr Daly - I rise on a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I do not like the word welched' to start with, but apart from that, at the commencement of the debate I raised the point of the question of what debate should take precedence this morning. The honourable member for Mackellar indicated that he had been stood over to withdraw his second motion. This allegation was quite false and incorrect. There was no welching or anything of that kind, but the honourable member indicated-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the House is debating the question. If he wishes to make a personal explanation he may do so when the honourable member for Mackellar has finished speaking.

Mr WENTWORTH - The course of events, as I have recounted them, is correct. I withdrew my motion on the understanding that the debate on the abolition of the means test would proceed. On that understanding the Government violated its pledge. Against the arrangements which had been made the Government called on the question to be put; it put on the gag. It stopped the debate.

Mr Hayden - I rise on a point of order. The honourable member for Mackellar is not making a personal explanation at all. He is attempting to introduce a new area of debate. In the course of this attempt the honourable member is misleading the Parliament.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The Minister for Social Security will resume his seat. I will judge whether the matter is a matter for personal explanation or not.

Mr WENTWORTH - Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I cannot put the record straight without recounting the course of events as they occurred. I make it clear that I made a bargain. I was prepared to stick to that bargain and I stuck to it. It was the Government that violated it. The Government, against the arrangement that had been made and in entire violation-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I think that the honourable gentleman has made his pont of order.

Mr Wentworth - Thank you.

Mr Hayden - Mr Deputy Speaker-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! Is tha Minister raising a point of order?

Mr Hayden - I am continuing the debate after the Leader of the House.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - No, the debate has concluded.

Mr Hayden - Why?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The Deputy Leader of the Opposition was rising.

Mr Hayden - But you have had 2 speakers from that side.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - No, we have not had 2 speakers from that side.

Mr Hayden - You have.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Scholes)Order!The honourable member will not argue with the Chair. The last speaker was the Leader of the House.

Mr Hayden - No, there were 2 speakers.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The last speaker was the Leader of the House.

Dr Klugman - Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. Am I correct in believing that we are now debating a motion to suspend Standing Orders?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - We were debating it; we are not now debating it.

Dr Klugman - That was moved by the honourable member for Henty and seconded by the honourable member for Sturt. There have been 2 speakers from the other side and since then there has been only one speaker from our side.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The practice of the House is to call honourable members alternatively from each side. There is no point of order.

Dr Klugman - But you called 2 speakers in a row from the Opposition.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.

Question put -

That the motion be agreed to.

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