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Wednesday, 4 August 1954

Mr EDMONDS (Herbert) .- The office of Chairman of Committees is exceedingly important, but the honorable member for Fisher (Mr. Adermann), as Chairman of Committees in the last Parliament, did not appear to acknowledge the importance of his office, except insofar as it benefited members of the Australian Country party. I am confident that many members of the Liberal party in this chamber, if they were honest, would entirely agree with me. I propose the honorable member for Kingston (Mr. Galvin) because he possesses qualifications for the office that the honorable member for Fisher lacks. The honorable member for Fisher, by his actions as Chairman of Committees, has proved conclusively that he is not qualified to occupy that high and important position. It would be bad enough if the honorable member's failure properly to discharge the duties of Chairman of Committees resulted only from incompetence in interpreting the Standing Orders. But the matter goes much further, as I can testify from my own experience. I believe that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and I are the only members ever to be suspended from the service of this chamber merely for interjecting. Honorable members will recall that the honorable member for Fisher demanded an apology from me on the occasion to which I refer. I cite that as an example of the vicious manner in which he carried out his duties as Chairman of Committees. On one occasion he demanded of me an apology but could not tell me why . I. should apologize to the Chair. Finally, all he could say was that I had failed to obey an order of the Chair. His action on that occasion was typical of his con duct throughout the period that he was Chairman of Committees.

The honorable member for Kingston has had wide experience in public affairs. He has shown that he possesses the quality of tolerance which the honorable member for Fisher does not, and, apparently, will never possess. The members of the Liberal party are inclined to make a great joke of my remarks, but I recall occasions in this chamber when the same honorable members did not think that treatment that they received at the hands of the honorable member for Fisher, when he was in the Chair, was so funny ; and those honorable members did not hesitate to air their views in that respect not only in this chamber but also outside.

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