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Thursday, 2 December 1976
Page: 3136


Mr MacKELLAR - No. I am responding to the motion.


Mr Innes - I take a point of order. The statement was made by the honourable member for Fremantle. The Leader of the House moved that the House take note of the report. Surely the call then is for this side of the House. I would like your ruling on the matter.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - In fact the honourable member for Melbourne is correct. I rule that the call is for the Opposition side of the House. I apologise to the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs for having called him.


Mr Sinclair - May I speak to that point of order. The normal procedure is that, leave having been given for a statement to be made by a member on one side of the House, a member on the other side of the House responds. To accommodate members of this place I moved that the House take note of the report. That in no way intrudes into the debate. The call is now for this side of the House, as the honourable member for Fremantle made the statement. The purpose of my procedural motion is only to facilitate subsequent debate. My comments in no way relate to the statement. The substance of the matter is that this side of the House now has the call, I would suggest.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I have conferred with the Clerk, to whose wisdom I bow. He has explained to me that the call is clearly on the Opposition side. If an Opposition member moves that the debate be now adjourned, clearly the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs could ask for leave to make a statement. I call the honourable member for Melbourne.

Motion (by Mr Innes) agreed to:

That the debate be now adjourned.


Mr MacKellar - May I seek leave to make a statement in response to the statement by the honourable member for Fremantle?


Mr Innes - I take a point of order. If time is allowed for the Minister to make a statement to the House on the report, will equal time be given to me as the Opposition spokesman on this matter?


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - That is not a matter for the Chair to decide, that is a matter for the Leader of the House to decide. I call the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. I note that it is after 1 o'clock. Does the Minister intend to speak for long? Should the sitting be suspended or should we continue?


Mr MacKellar - In all the circumstances, I think it would be wise if the sitting were suspended until after lunch.

Sitting suspended from 1.1 to 2.15 p.m.







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