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Tuesday, 18 May 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE - Mr. President, answering first the last part of the honorable senator's question, I am a firm and staunch believer in parliamentary democracy as practised in Australia. The honorable senator may rest assured that should he ever be engaged in a fight to retain the system of parliamentary democracy of which he speaks so lovingly and is looking for someone to assist him, I shall be only too happy to stand by his side to defend the parliamentary democracy that we know.

I recall the incident to which he refers. As he correctly stated, it arose because - or partly because - it had not been found possible to draft regulations at a time when they should have been drafted. I also recall that subsequent action was taken to correct that position. I have had necessarily to examine the list of legislation which is to be presented to the House this week. I certainly do not give the honorable senator an assurance that he will be able to leave this place by Thursday night. However, this is a matter which I hope to have an opportunity to discuss with the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate later this afternoon or evening. The fact that I shall this day move for the suspension of Standing Order No. 68 indicates that I am aware of the amount of legislation which must be dealt with this week. I trust that the suspension of that Standing Order will make it possible for us to deal expeditiously with the legislation coming forward without sitting too late on one or more nights. A variety of reasons has contributed to the fact that on this occasion legislation is coming to us in the last week of the sessional period in such quantities. One reason is that I understand there has been some delay because of shortage of staff and illness amongst the draftsmen employed in the AttorneyGeneral's Department. But that is only one of many reasons.

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