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Tuesday, 22 May 1973
Page: 2453


Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - I was much impressed earlier today to hear the very sincere words from the Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) when he was talking about the International Labour Organisation convention and the need to abolish all kinds of discrimination.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I ask the honourable gentleman to remember the standing order that states that honourable members must not debate, during the adjournment debate, matters pertaining to a Bill that is before the House.


Mr WENTWORTH - It was not a Bill.


Mr SPEAKER - Or a statement.


Mr WENTWORTH - At any rate, I do not intend to transgress the Standing Orders. I wanted to say how impressed I was particularly with the point he made that the Government intended to do something about discrimination against age. I think that this assurance will touch the hearts of many of us.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! Why look straight at me?


Mr WENTWORTH - Therefore, I was rather shocked to find how so far out of line and sympathy the Minister was with his own Government. Mr Speaker, you will remember that last week the House passed the Prices Justification Bill. I would like to read clause 7(2):

A person, other than a Judge, who has attained the age of sixty-five years shall not be appointed or re-appointed as the Chairman or as a full-time member, and a person, other than a Judge, shall not be appointed or re-appointed as the Chairman or as a full-time member for a period that extends beyond the date on which he will attain the age of sixty-five years.

I just want to point out that once again the unhappy Minister for Labour, sincere though he is, well meaning though he is and eloquent though he is sometimes is out of touch with the Government. Apparently, the left hand of the Government does not always know what its right hand is doing. We have the Government putting through the House last week a Bill which contained a most blatant kind of discrimination on the grounds of age.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I remind the honourable member that the debate on the Minis,ter's statement was made an order of the day. So therefore-


Mr WENTWORTH - Mr Speaker,I am speaking about what happened last week. I pointed out that it was only last week - I think that I am in order in referring to what happened last week - that the Government passed through the House a Bill which contained the most blatant discrimination against age. Yet, we have this unhappy, well meaning and sincere Minister coming into the House and making a statement that the Government, amongst other things, intends to abolish all sorts of discrimination against age in relation to employment. It looks very funny to me. Mr Speaker, I dare say that you and I will be equally amused. Of course, you, who sit there above the stress of politics, absolutely insulated from the sordid goings-on in the Party room, will join with me in regretting the kind of-


Mr Giles -Double talk.


Mr WENTWORTH - Yes, double talk. It is worse than that. It is double thinking that goes on in the Government. It has a left hand and a right hand, a left wing and a right wing. There is not always sufficient communication between them. Mr Speaker, I see that you are just about to rise, as you should, and draw my attention and that of the House to the fact that it is 11 o'clock. I bid you a very good night.


Mr SPEAKER - I wonder why the honourable member does not take his long service leave. It being 11 o'clock, the House stands adjourned until 1 1 a.m. tomorrow.







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