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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr GRASSBY (Riverina) (12:45 PM) I want to speak very briefly at the third reading stage. I will not encompass any of the matters that have been dealt with to date. I echo the sentiments expressed that for an important measure such as this, which deals with State grants at this particular stage of Federal-State relations, to be dealt with at this hour of the morning displays a scant realisation of the issues involved, and scant attention to them. Indeed, I think the term 'irresponsibility of government' might well be applied when such an important measure as this is handled in this way and at this time. I hope that when the next measure touching on Federal-State relations which has been foreshadowed by the Government comes down it will not be relegated to the graveyard of debates after midnight. I am well aware of the time. 1 am usually the lastto rise. 1 think this is something which many honourable members feel quite seriously and strongly about. It is unfortunate that we come to this measure at this time with the Treasurer (Mr Bury) alone in the chamber, unsupported by any other Minister during the time of this debate. Now we come to the third reading stage which means that the debate has ended and we cannot go through the matters which we could have dealt with. It does little honour to this Parliament and pays little recognition to its fundamental responsibility to have this measure treated in this way. I enter a very modest protest at this hour of the morning because of the way the measure has been dealt with.

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