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Thursday, 11 October 1973
Page: 2041


Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (Leader of the Opposition) - The Leader of the House (Mr Daly) has spoken presumably as a matter of indulgence, for he was speaking to no motion.


Mr Daly - I was speaking to the adjournment motion.


Mr Peacock - The adjournment motion has not been moved yet.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! You are usually right, but you are wrong this time. I proposed the question: 'That the House do now adjourn'.


Mr SNEDDEN - Given that the honourable gentleman was not called by you to speak-


Mr SPEAKER -The Leader of the Opposition has the call on the adjournment motion.


Mr SNEDDEN - The Leader of the House is protecting himself from the charge, which is a correct charge, that he knew that a matter of privilege was to be raised but he took action to prevent it being raised when I entered the chamber. The fact is that he forced a division on the motion that progress be reported. When I was Leader of the House, the counting of a division was estimated to take 7 minutes or 8 minutes. I do not know whether the tellers are faster with their pencils these days but I think the counting of that division took 7 minutes or 8 minutes. The amount of time which I took to outline my case on privilege I am sure was less than would have remained from the time I first sought to move my motion until 10.15.


Mr Daly - You took 10 minutes.


Mr SNEDDEN - Very well.


Mr DALY (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - You rose 7 minutes before the adjournment motion was to be proposed.


Mr SNEDDEN - If the honourable gentleman had had in his mind the importance of the parliamentary system and the importance of the issue of privilege not only would he not have obstructed me from moving to debate the matter but also he would have taken every step available to him as the Leader of the House to allow me to do so forthwith. It does no credit to the honourable gentleman that he adopted the course that he did. What we have discovered in recent days is that he has lost his touch because he has lost his confidence.

Mr DALY(Grayndler- Leader of the House) - Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! Does the Leader of the House claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr DALY - Yes. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) said that I tried to prevent a matter of privilege being raised. As the Leader of the Opposition will have seen from the letter that he read, the initials of the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) were on it and I, on behalf of the Government, was to accept the motion that he was to move. The question being raised was of no concern to me because I know little about it. I had no desire to impede the discussion of the matter of privilege. But, knowing the Standing Orders, I knew that the Leader of the Opposition could raise the matter before the House adjourned. In case it is necessary to remind the Leader of the Opposition of this fact, the Government, not the Opposition, runs the Parliament. In case the honourable member may not know, it is the responsibility of the Government to move that progress be reported and not the responsibility of some interloper who wanders in and wants to play the gallery. Consequently, I say that I have been misrepresented.







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