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Wednesday, 4 March 1970

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member cannot speak to the Bill unless he is to continue his speech.

Mr Hayden - Yes. We are gravely concerned with the inconvenience and, to some extent, the deprivation of the people who will benefit under the proposals contained in this Bill. This deprivation has been caused by the record recess of the Federal Parliament, for which the Government rather than the Opposition has been responsible. We want to see this Bill go through all stages tonight so that the people who will derive the benefits from the scheme will not be denied those benefits any further.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Does the Leader of the House intend to let this Bill go through tonight? Otherwise, the honourable member for Oxley will need leave to speak.

Mr Snedden - I will move that the debate be adjourned.

Mr SPEAKER - There is a simple answer to this. If the honourable member for Oxley is to continue now and speak to the second reading of the Bill he will need leave to do so.

Mr Hayden - I seek leave to speak in reply to the Minister. If I am to be refused the opportunity to speak, that will test the sincerity of the Government.

Mr SPEAKER -If the honourable member for Oxley looks at the Bill he will find that it is necessary to have a message from the Governor-General before the measure can be passed.

Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, I ask for your guidance. Is there any way in which we can expedite the passage of this Bill? These unfortunate people have been deprived for 4 months now. This Bill should have been introduced on 25th November last.

Mr Calwell - Under the Standing Orders, is it not competent for the Leader of the House to move the adjournment of this debate until a message is received from the Governor-General so that thereafter the honourable member for Oxley can proceed with the debate? I have been here for a long time, perhaps too long, but I have never known a procedure of this sort to be ignored before. I suggest to the Minister that that is the proper procedure to adopt. He can obtain plenty of signatures outside. He can soon produce a message.

Mr SPEAKER - The message has just arrived, but the honourable member for Oxley will still need leave to speak.

Mr Hayden - Then I seek leave to make a speech.

Mr SPEAKER - There being no objection, leave is granted.

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