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Thursday, 17 May 1973
Page: 2271


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mi Berinson (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Order! No point of order is involved.


Mr DALY - What is annoying the Opposition is that the Prime Minister's answers are so superb that honourable members opposite do not get the answer they want. Instead, they get the correct answer. As the Prime Minister said today, he gets more intelligent questions from the Press than he does from anybody opposite. Do not honourable members opposite want the Prime Minister to give to the Press information in regard to parliamentary affairs and other matters? This is a part of open government which the enemy opposite never gave when they were in office. The hardest thing to find when the Liberals were in office was a Prime Minister who would meet the Press at any time let alone once a week. Therefore, if the criticism is made that the Prime Minister is giving this information to the nation it is made on false grounds. It is quite obvious that honourable members opposite are green with envy because they do not have anyone who can equal the Prime Minister in answering questions. The fact that very important matters have not been mentioned during question time by honourable members opposite indicates that they are not even doing their homework on the questions that they do ask.

Let me answer the honourable member for Curtin who made some allegations about how this Parliament is being conducted. I just want to put it on the record for all to see. The honourable member said that the House should sit longer, but the other day he was one of those who voted against an extension of the sitting times by an hour in the morning and by taking a little time off the dinner break. The very gentleman who said that we should sit longer was one of those who voted with all those who sit opposite against extending by an hour or so a week the sitting time of this Parliament. Since this Parliament opened for this current session it has not sat after 11 o'clock at night. Every night there is an adjournment debate, which was not possible under the previous Government. Every General Business day has taken place, which is contrary to what was done by honourable members opposite when they were in office, and a vote has been taken on every General Business day. In addition, we have had at least 45 minutes for question time every day. In every way we have given to private members of this Parliament opportunities which they were denied for 20 years. As a private member in Opposition I introduced on one occasion an Electoral Bill. I introduced it but it disappeared following the dissolution of the Parliament about 2 years later because the then Government would not debate it. The situation is that no members of an opposition have had more time than those who are now opposite to put their points of view to a government.

It was said that Bills are not getting sufficient time for debate. The honourable member for Curtin said that we were not giving sufficient time to debate Bills. The Hansard of 4th May 1971 at page 2504 shows a list of 17 Bills which went through this Parliament in 21 hours. As I mentioned yesterday, half of them were given 5 minutes. For example, for all stages of the Loan (Farmers' Debt Adjustment) Bill 1971 the time was 5 minutes. The cockies did not get much consideration that day, did they? The Anglo-Australian Telescope Agreement Bill 1971 was telescoped through in 5 minutes. Seventeen Bills were put through in 21 hours. Do honourable members know who voted for those Bills, The honourable member for Curtin is listed among those who put 17 Bills through this Parliament in 21 hours. What humbug it is to talk about this kind of thing when that sort of thing was done by those opposite when they were in office. The honourable member for Curtin said that he wants more time allotted for the sitting of the Parliament. There will be adequate time for him to get over that as time goes on because we intend to see that the Bills are debated.


Mr MacKellar - Ha, hal


Mr DALY - The honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) has been very silent. He also was one who voted for those 17 Bills which went through in 21 hours. He is the greatest time waster in the history of this Parliament. He is one of the reasons why Bills are not debated properly. Only yesterday he was left stranded and he had to make-


Mr MacKellar - I raise a point of order. Whilst we know that the joker from Grayndler carries on in this way every day-







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