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Monday, 15 October 1973
Page: 2111


Mr MORRISON (New South Wales) (Minister for Science and Minister for External Territories) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a third time.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The question is That the Bill be now read a third time'.


Mr Sinclair - Mr Deputy Speaker, on a point of order-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I call the Deputy Leader of the Country Party.


Mr Sinclair - Mr Deputy Speaker, the normal procedure of this House-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Is leave granted to proceed to the third reading forthwith?


Mr Sinclair - Mr Deputy Speaker, on a point of order, the second reading debate has not yet taken place in this House.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -I beg your pardon. It has been carried. (Opposition members interjecting.)


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I want to make this clear: I put the question: 'That the Bill be now read a second time*.


Mr Sinclair - To which the honourable member for Cowper rose. He has been listed to speak on the Bill. He was endeavouring to attract your attention. He was standing there, endeavouring to get you to call him. There was no call from you in the Chair, and at the first available opportunity he spoke. Mr Deputy Speaker, the normal practice of this House is that you read a motion, which says: "The question is that the Bill be now read a second time', and then you call on a spokesman from the Opposition. I would suggest, Mr Deputy Speaker, that it is now for the honourable member for Cowper to have the call and to have an opportunity to speak on this question.


Mr Daly - Mr Deputy Speaker, speaking to the point of order, the honourable member for Cowper could not have been jumping for the call because he was not the leader of the debate on that side. The list given to me shows that the honourable member for Berowra (Mr Edwards) is down as the leading Opposition speaker, and consequently he was the one who should have been called. If the honourable member for Cowper was jumping, he had no right to do so because he was not entitled to the call.


Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to take a point of order.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER


Mr Giles - On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker, could I explain this?


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - No. Before you explain it, if I could explain it a little bit-


Mr Giles - May I speak on a point of order?


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Yes.


Mr Giles - As the Acting Opposition Whip I went to the members of the Country Party a little while ago and asked them if they would mind leading with the honourable member for Cowper in this debate. They agreed and sent for the honourable member for Cowper. Now, I am sorry, Sir, if we were a bit slow getting up, but that was a genuine proposition and members of the .Country Party will know that what I say is true. I would deeply deprecate any attempt to push this Bill through on technical matters when that was a decision made by us. We asked the honourable member for Cowper to lead in this debate on this occasion. I assure you that is the truth, Mr Deputy Speaker.


Mr Martin - Mr Deputy Speaker-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I ask the honourable member for Banks and the honourable member for Calare to resume their seats. I put the question quite clearly 'that the Bill be now read a second time'. I looked at both sides of the House and at the centre table. Nobody rose from the centre table. I looked at the Country Party area of the chamber and I looked at the other part of the Opposition side. Nobody had risen, as the honourable member for Angas has just said. They were very slow. At that point I put the question that the Bill be now read a second time'. The question was resolved in the affirmative without division. I made one error at that stage. Going straight into the third reading stage I called the honourable member for Cowper. I was in error in that respect. The position now is that the House may go into Committee on this matter if it so desires or it can proceed, if leave is granted, to the third reading forthwith. It is up to the House itself to make that decision.


Mr Sinclair - I rise on a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The practice of this House has long been that there should be a second reading debate. I accept that you did not notice the honourable member for Cowper rise. He rose at what he believed to be the appropriate time. There was an agreement-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I want to make it quite clear that the honourable member for Cowper did not rise at the appropriate rime, nor did any other member of this House. I waited before putting the question.


Mr Lucock - I rise on a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I raise a point of order on 2 counts. One is that I walked across from my/ seat to speak to the Deputy Leader of the Country Party. The honourable member, for Cowper was standing up as I walked past because I bent down so that I was not obstruct-,/ ing him. It would be impossible for you as a Deputy Speaker to have gone through the motions that you said you did go through without noticing the honourable member for Cowper. The other factor in regard to this matter is that when a situation like this has occurred on odd occasions - I suggest that the Leader of the House will agree that this is the case-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! Is the honourable member for Lyne suggesting .that I have misled the House?


Mr Lucock - The Chair has put the question again for the second reading and allowed the debate to continue.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - There is no point of order.


Mr Reynolds - Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I might not be very popular for saying this but frankly there has obviously been a technical error here tonight. I do not see any reason why the ordinary processes of Parliament should be frustrated by the absence of a person to take the call when' he was intending to take the call. I ask the Leader of the House to condone the recommital of the second reading.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I want to make this quite clear. I have already said that when the question was put 'that the Bill be now read a second time' I hesitated for some time looking for somebody to rise. Nobody rose from the centre table or from the Country Party benches, as was mentioned by the honourable member for Angas. I have already indicated to the Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party who is in the chair at the centre table now, that the matter can be quite easily rectified by going into Committee, when honourable members may speak on the Bill, or they may speak in the third reading debate. I would suggest that the Deputy Leader of the Country Party should indicate which way he wants to do it.


Mr Sinclair - May I speak on a point of order?


Mr Turner - On the point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker, you have said that you looked for the honourable member for Berowra because his name was on some list.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -I did not say that.


Mr Turner - How did the name of the honourable member for Berowra come into the debate?


Mr Sinclair - The Leader of the House said that.


Mr Turner - Very well. I accept, Mr Deputy Speaker, that you did not mention the 'honourable member for Berowra.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - That is right. I do not know of any list.


Mr Turner - This is the point I want to make: Mr Speaker does not take cognisance of any list.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - That is quite right.


Mr Turner - Therefore if he looks around believing that someone ought to be there because he was on the list and does not see that person this is no reason why he should not therefore-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - There is no point of order. It is not a point of order.


Mr Turner - The second point I want to raise, Mr Deputy Speaker-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Look, I did not mention the honourable member for Berowra. I know of no list of speakers. I mentioned that nobody rose from the centre table or from either side of the House.


Mr Turner - So I move on to my second point. You said then, Sir - there is no question about this - that nobody rose from the centre table. There is no particular priority that somebody has at the centre table. It was your duty, Sir, I submit, to see if any member rose anwhere, whether someone you expected to rise because he was on a list, someone who happened to be at the centre table or someone who happened to be on the front bench. It was your duty, Sir, plainly, I submit, to see if anybody on this side of the House rose. Quite obviously the honourable member for Cowper did rise.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Turner - We are making a travesty of the-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member has not made a point of order.


Mr Turner - This is a travesty.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member will resume his seat. Leave has not been granted to proceed to the third reading forthwith and accordingly the House will now go into Committee.


Mr Sinclair - Mr Deputy Speaker, can I raise a point of order? I put this proposition to the Leader of the House: The normal practice of this House is that there should be a second reading debate. There are a number of speakers from the Government side as well as from the Opposition who want to speak on this debate. I accept, Mr Deputy Speaker, that you have made your judgment on this matter. I believe that it was perhaps unfortunate that you were not able to see the honourable member for Cowper rise. I ask the Leader of the House -


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Cowper did not rise when the motion was put. The suggestion from the Deputy Leader of the Country Party is that the Deputy Speaker did not see the honourable member rise. I ask him to withdraw it.


Mr Sinclair - I withdraw that, Mr Deputy Speaker. I suggest that perhaps the Leader of the House might be prepared to permit a second reading debate to take place as it was the belief of members of the Opposition that there would be a second reading debate and in view of the fact that there seems to be misunderstanding on the order of speakers.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - You were a bit slow, that was your problem. I call the Leader of the House.







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