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Wednesday, 14 November 1973
Page: 3314


Mr DALY (Grayndler Leader of the House) - I move:

That the time allotted in connection with the Bills be as follows:

(1)   Constitution Alteration (Simultaneous Elections) Bill 1974:

(a)   For the second reading, until 8.15 p.m. this day.

(b)   For the Committee stage, until 8.30 p.m. this day.

(c)   For the remaining stages, until 8.43 p.m. this day.

(2)   Constitution Alteration (Democratic Elections) Bill 1974:

(a)   For the second reading, until 5 p.m. on Thursday, 15 November.

(b)   For the Committee stage, until 5.15 p.m. on Thursday, 15 November.

(c)   For the remaining stages, until 5.30 p.m. on Thursday, 15 November.

(3)   Constitution Alteration (Local Government Bodies) Bill 1974:

Notwithstanding the order of the House of 1 March -

(a)   For the second reading until 9.30 p.m. on Thursday, 15 November.

(b)   For the Committee stage, until 9.45 p.m. on Thursday, 15 November.

(c)   For the remaining stages, until 10 p.m. on Thursday, 15 November.

As has been indicated, that will allow a considerable time for debate. I might mention for the benefit of those honourable members opposite who might realise that to be brief and to the point is a very effective method of debating that the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) in speaking to these 3 important measures covered every point very effectively in speeches which occupied only 18 pages of double space typing. Honourable members opposite might also be brief in making their speeches. Honourable members opposite complain that only a short time is to be allowed to debate these measures, but earlier today they took up the time of this House on a matter which could well have been deferred, and therefore they lost a couple of hours of debating time for these measures.

We are declaring these measures urgent Bills because of the constitutional position and the need to have them passed by the Parliament. When the guillotine, as it is called, is applied honourable members opposite always scream about the lack of democracy and justice. I have in my hand a book entitled Turn Again, Westminster', by Woodrow Wyatt, who is a prominent British parliamentarian. Referring to the application of the guillotine in the House of Commons, he said:

A ritual attaches to the application of the guillotine motion. A day's debate is devoted to it. The Opposition makes howls of protest at the undemocratic driving through of a BUI which is not to be adequately debated. The Government reply accurately that the Opposition used to do exactly the same when they were in power. The Opposition reply that they never did it in quite the way that the present Government are doing it nor on such a serious matter, and so forth. The Government speakers produce examples to the contrary. Cries of 'Gag', 'Hitler'. 'Fascist', 'Dictators', Stalin', rend the air. At the end of the debate the Government win, but all seem satisfied by the empty baying that has preceded the vote.

I commend that to honourable members as an indication of the type of criticism that is levelled at us by honourable members opposite. That happens in the House of Commonsthe mother of parliaments. The Government in the House of Commons adopts this method with obstructive Oppositions. In this Parliament we apply the guillotine only when we are forced to do so. Earlier the Opposition Whip said that the previous Government applied the guillotine only once last year. But he did not tell honourable members that the then Government put 17 Bills on the block with the application of that guillotine. It made more sales in one swoop than Hookers make in a year and knocked the middle out of the legislative program. Among the people who supported that action most enthusiastically were the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony) and his Deputy. Consequently today when they moan about this they should remember that we are giving justice as it is deserved and in addition we are giving full and adequate time for discussion on measures on which the people should not be delayed in passing their judgment as to whether or not they should become law. This is not against the Parliament; this is a law of the people.







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