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Tuesday, 14 October 1975
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Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) (Minister for Overseas Trade) - The Government opposes the motion which seeks to suspend the Standing Orders. I find a great deal of difficulty, with all respect to my friend from Moreton (Mr Killen), who has just spoken, to distinguish in his language between history and hysteria. I would have respected this escapade had it been moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Malcolm Fraser) and seconded by the Leader of the National Country Party (Mr Anthony). The Leader of the National Country Party is here. He is listening to the debate. I do not know where the Leader of the Opposition is. The honourable member for Moreton, whose language I respect -sometimes I respect his perspicacity- referred to the utter gravity of the matter. With all respect to the honourable gentleman, I think that the matter of most utter gravity of the moment that is appearing in the Australian system is: Who governs Australia? In my view, they govern Australia who have the numbers in this House of the Parliament. There has been a lot of nonsense in recent days about refusing supply-

Mr Bourchier - You have said it all.

Mr CREAN - You do not say much, with all respect.

Mr Bourchier - We have not said anything about it.

Mr CREAN - You will not be saying much from now on either.

Mr Anthony - You speak for yourself.

Mr CREAN -Well, I speak for myself in this place and I hope that everyone else can speak for himself too.

Mr Lusher - Speak to the motion.

Mr CREAN -Well, the motion seeks the suspension of the Standing Orders.

Mr Lusher - Why does the Government not allow the honourable member for Cunningham to speak for himself?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I suggest to the honourable member for Hume that he might stop trying to run this Parliament and let me run it

Mr CREAN - Sometimes I think that it is very hard to define humbug. With all respect to the honourable gentleman, I think he knows the definition of it better than I do. At the moment, this nation faces a certain difficulty- a constitutional crisis, if honourable members like- and the question that arises is: Who governs Australia? I say to my friend on the other side that at least I respect his integrity. But with all deference and parliamentary diffidence, I do not respect the integrity of some of the others, including those who move a motion of this sort. There is a certain section in the Constitution- and I think this is what all of the discussion is about in the finishwhich acknowledges to begin with that there is only one House that can originate what are called money Bills.

Mr Chipp - What has this to do with it?

Mr CREAN -It has a lot to do with what you are talking about, with all respect.

Mr Sinclair - I rise to take a point of order.

Mr CREAN -Mr Speaker,I hope that you will give me the same deference as you gave to the honourable member who is taking the point of order.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I will hear the point of order.

Mr Sinclair - I do not wish to deprive the Deputy Prime Minister of his time to speak in this debate, but I would suggest that the subject of money Bills does not have anything to do with suspension of the Standing Orders for the purpose of permitting the honourable member for Cunningham and the Prime Minister to speak.

Mr SPEAKER - I would suggest that a lot of what was said in the two previous speeches also had nothing to do with the motion before the Chair.

Mr CREAN - Exactly.

Mr Sinclair - Oh, Mr Speaker!

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I allowed a lot of latitude because I think this is a matter in which that degree of latitude should be allowed, as it is being allowed. I intend to allow the same latitude in this debate to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr CREAN - I was saying that there is a convention that provides that money Bills can be originated in one place only, that is, here. The section says that money Bills are Bills which the Senate may not amend. I am suggesting that there is only one sensible and intelligible interpretation of that provision in 1975, that is, that such a Bill is a Bill which the Senate may not reject.

Mr Staley - It can veto.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Chisholm will remain silent.

Mr CREAN - Again the neophytes who are here for the first time- and some of them by accident -

Mr Lusher - And some of you are here for the last time.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Hume will cease interjecting, or I will name him.

Mr CREAN -They profess to know all about it. Surely everybody here respects constitutional usage.

Mr Anthony - And parliamentary practice, too.

Mr CREAN -Well, parliamentary practice too.

Mr Anthony - Well, why do they not go and make an announcement in the House instead of acting like cowards and doing it outside?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The right honourable member will remain silent.

Mr CREAN -With all respect, Mr Speaker, and I speak through you- I speak particularly to my honourable friend from Moreton who is one who claims, when it suits him, to stand upon precedents and upon usage, and I hope that my friend opposite does the same sort of thing.

Mr EllicottI hope that you read my article in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning.

Mr CREAN - I am not a regular reader of the Sydney Morning Herald. I try to do my best to read the few respectable journals left in Victoria.

Mr Anthony - Like the Melbourne Herald?

Mr CREAN - They are not very many. I sometimes wonder what those who claim to be defending parliamentary usage and constitutionality and so on are doing at the moment. There is only one place under the Westminster system where governments are made or unmade and that is the House of Representatives. When we look at what the Opposition parties have done with respect to what are called occasional or casual vacancies in the Senate -

Mr McMahon - What did the Government do to the High Court?

Mr CREAN - I will be kind to the honourable member for Lowe.

Mr Bourchier - Mr Speaker,I raise- a point of order.

Mr CREAN - I think he would be better out of the place than in it.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Deputy Prime Minister will resume his seat.

Mr CREAN - His reputation was great.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! A point of order is being taken.

Mr Bourchier - Mr Speaker,my point of order is that the Deputy Prime Minister is not speaking to the motion. I know you have given a great deal of latitude to speakers from both sides of the House, but this is ridiculous. The Deputy Prime Minister has not spoken to the motion before the Chair.

Mr SPEAKER - I suggest that the latitude I have given the Deputy Prime Minister is equalled only by the latitude which I gave the previous 2 speakers who also did not speak to the motion. I said that I feel that this is a matter which is entitled to be debated without interruption. I have given that latitude to both Opposition speakers. I think that latitude ought also be given to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr CREAN - I see by the light in the clock that my time has almost expired. I reiterate what I said when I began. The Government opposes the motion for the suspension for Standing Orders. I move:

That the question be now put.

Question put:

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