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Thursday, 24 February 1977

Mr BRYANT (Wills) - I raise with the House the problem of prorogation and what it really means as that is the reason for this special adjournment. The Oxford Dictionary defines prorogation as a discontinuance of parliament without its dissolution. In this instance the prorogation is causing a great deal of inconvenience. It has stopped a lot of committees doing work. It has prevented the absolute surety that matters will continue from this week to a fortnight's time. That matter was raised here this morning. Therefore I hope the Leader of the House (Mr Sinclair) will take up with Mr Speaker the necessity perhaps to re-examine Standing Orders and not necessarily be inhibited by the restrictions that flow to us from other parliaments. As I understand it no Act of Parliament is involved. This is simply a traditional way of interpreting the word 'prorogue '. I think this is quite inappropriate and irrelevant and that the Parliament should not go through this charade any longer. I am deeply grateful that Her Majesty the Queen is to open the Parliament. I think that she has a much better attitude to the rights and powers of this Parliament than does her agent in this country.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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