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Wednesday, 14 November 1973
Page: 1769


Senator WITHERS - Senator, wehave been here long enough to know that stories are inspired around this place, and this has all the hallmarks of an inspired story. All I say is that if the Government wants co-operation from the Opposition, which it gets, in relation to its legislationof course it ought to get this legislation through as early as possible- then we are prepared to be co-operative. But if the Government wants co-operation it should not play this funny sort of politics. What happened yesterday with the Opposition taking the adjournment on a Bill was not an unusual procedure. There is nothing unusual about that. I know that this year we have adopted the practice with quite a large number of Bills that when the second reading speech of the Bill has been put down we have allowed it to go straight through to the third reading stage. This has happened in relation to Bills to which we are not opposed. In relation to this Bill Senator Cotton quite rightly thought that he would like to have a look at what was in it. After all, as I understand it, this Bill went through the other place in 10 minutes. If the Senate is to retain its place in the bicameral system as a House of review, a House where legislation will be properly scrutinised and where reasonable criticism can be made then it is not unreasonable that debate on a Bill, which goes in and out of the other place in 10 minutes, should be adjourned overnight by the Opposition when it comes here. I say in those quite gentle terms that we are prepared to co-operate. But, if in fact, someone did inspire this, then I say to the Government: 'For goodness sake, do not do it again because it does not make for the happiest working in this place'.







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