Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4472


Mr SINCLAIR (New England) (Minister for Primary Industry) - The motion that wc are debating seeks the suspension of Standing Orders. It has been suggested that, in the course of the debate on the original motion to take note of the paper, I challenged the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) who is, as 1 understand if. the shadow minister for primary industry in the Australian Labor Party. I guess that, with the rivals behind him. he must be a little uncertain as to his present stature. The position is that he, in the course of his speech in reply to my statement, said that he fell that it was necessary for there to be a debate on the question of whether merino rams should be allowed to be exported on the basis that has been recommended now for the third time by the Australian Wool Industry Conference. Certainly, there are differences this time. In essence the Australian Wool Industry Conference has made 3 recommendations and its third recommendation


Mr Bryant - Mr Deputy Speaker, I draw your attention to your earlier rulings restricting debates by my colleagues on this side of the House to the subject matter before the chair. The matter immediately before us is the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders and I ask that you direct the Minister to stick to that subject.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - I would suggest to the honourable member for Wills that the situation has altered slightly. As a matter of fact, I would hazard a guess that some honourable members now do not know what we are debating. A suggestion has been made that certain action be taken to allow a certain suggested course to be adopted. The Minister is in charge of the Bill. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has made a speech. The Chair wants to hear al] the comments that are made from both sides of the House.


Mr SINCLAIR - I am happy to acknowledge that I am speaking to a motion to suspend Standing Orders.


Mr ALLAN FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I rise to order. I wish to express my disagreement with the attitude you have just suggested you are going to adopt towards the continuation of the debate on the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member for Eden-Monaro will resume his seat. I have not said that that is the attitude that I will adopt. The Chair has been asked to accept a motion for the withdrawal of a previous motion and I am making an endeavour to help the House. The honourable member for Eden-Monaro can shake his head as much as he likes but the fact is that the honourable member for Henty asked for permission to withdraw a motion. An endeavour is being made to arrive at a certain situation, which has been mentioned by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, so that this House can take action. To help the House arrive at such a situation it might be practicable to allow the Minister in charge of the Bill to make some comment on this matter.


Mr ALLAN FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - On the point of order,I submit that the rules applying to the mover and seconder of the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders must be applied to other speakers.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - If the honourable member for Eden-Monaro has not been listening to what has been happening in the House I will ask the Minister for Primary Industry to restrict himself to the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders.


Mr SINCLAIR - That is exactly what I was doing. While the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Barnard) was speaking, I presume to the motion for suspension of Standing Orders, he suggested that I had challenged the shadow Minister for Primary Industry to a debate on the question. In essence what I said - in relation to the suspension of Standing Orders, let me assure you again - is that if we were going to debate the statement it would be necessary to debate the issues. I thought the honourable member for Dawson might well have talked about the issues instead of talking about the fact that he was being denied the right to vote. The point at issue at the moment is whether or not we should suspend Standing Orders in order to allow for those matters which the honourable member for Dawson suggested were necessary, a debate and a vote.

A debate would originate around the statement made by me relating to a decision taken at the Australian Wool Industry Conference. That statement by me enabled the honourable member for Dawson, representing the Opposition, to make an exposition on what he felt were the issues relative to the statement. If we are going to suspend Standing Orders to allow this House to embark on another debate on the issue, we will be simply extending the debate which has already begun. We had been in the course of a debate on a motion which was previously moved but which the honourable member for Henty (Mr Fox) has suggested he ask leave to withdraw, when the honourable member for Eden-Monaro moved the suspension of Standing Orders. In other words, the honourable member for Eden-Monaro moved the suspension of Standing Orders to allow for a debate on the question of the relaxation of the embargo on the export of merino rams, the subject in relation to which I have just made a statement. I set out the decision made by the Australian Wool Industry Conference; I recited the history of the decision. I set down the very grievous circumstances besetting ram breeders in Australia, grievous circumstances which apparently have not been taken account of in the attitude of members of the Opposition in this House. I set out a statement which was the beginning of the debate which the motion moved by the honourable member for Eden-Monaro suggests should be extended. Before this motion was moved we were in the process of debating the very issues on which the honourable member for Eden-Monaro wanted an extended debate. As I understood his remarks, the honourable member for Dawson felt it was necessary for there to be a debate oh these issues.


Mr Grassby - I rise to order. I seek your guidance on this matter. As I understood it, when I seconded the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders to debate the whole of the ramifications of the merino ram embargo, I did this to enable us to discuss the whole of these ramifications. Under the Standing Orders, as I understand it, we are at present discussing only part of this subject and I ask for a ruling from you on this matter. The Minister has said that we can extend the debate which is now in progress, not in relation to the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders but in relation to the previous motion that we take note of the statement. He said that we can extend that despite the limited objectives of the paper and the limited objectives of the Government's motion on this occasion. According to the Minister we can extend this as far as we like. I ask for your ruling. What the Government has done through the Minister for Primary Industry is to move a motion that would extend the existing ban and the debate under the Standing Orders should be related and in fact confined to that extension.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -In relation to the point of order raised by the honourable member for Riverina, what the Minister for Primary Industry has said is that prior to the moving of the suspension of Standing Orders there was a debate on the statement by the Minister for Primary Industry to which the honourable member for Dawson had made a speech in reply. That question was in the process of being put to the House when the honourable member for Eden-Monaro moved his motion for the suspension of Standing Orders, the reason being, I surmise, that the adjournment of the debate had been agreed to and the honourable member wished the debate to continue. In seconding the motion the honourable member for Riverina sought to bring the matter lo a vote and at the time he raised this point of order the Minister for Primary Industry was actually saying that it had been suggested by the Opposition that there should be a vote on this subject. That is the situation at the moment.


Dr Patterson - I rise to order. I regret that I must disagree with your ruling.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -I have not given a ruling. 1 have stated to the House what has happened in this debate.


Dr Patterson - I take a point of order. The only question before the Chair at the present time is the motion for suspension of Standing Orders which was moved by the honourable member for Eden-Monaro and seconded by the honourable member for Riverina.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Dawson will resume his seat. In regard to the point of order raised by the honourable member I would suggest that the House might listen to what is said by the Chair. A point of order was raised by the honourable member for Riverina and I was ruling on that at the time when I make the comment about what was happening in this House. If the honourable member for Dawson had been listening he would know that I said that the motion before the House was for the suspension of Standing Orders, moved by the honourable member for EdenMonaro and seconded by the honourable member for Riverina. I said that the Minister in his reply was commenting on what had been said by the honourable member for

Riverina in seconding the motion moved by the honourable member for EdenMonaro that a vote should be taken in the House.


Mr Grassby - 1 rise to order just to clarify the situation. 1 think we ought to understand what we are doing.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I suggest that the honourable member state his point of order immediately.


Mr Grassby - My point of order is that I want an interpretation of exactly what you have said.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -I point out to the honourable member for Riverina that, a ruling on a point of order is not an interpretation of what has been said. I ask the honourable member for Riverina to resume his seal.


Mr SINCLAIR - The motion before the House is for the suspension of Standing Orders. I believe that the Opposition wants a vote on the suspension of Standing Orders and a vote on the motion that the House take note of the paper. Members of the Opposition could canvass, as I suggested to the honourable member for Dawson when he spoke, the whole range of issues so far as the export of merino rams was concerned. That, of course, was the purpose of the statement. Honourable members could move an amendment to the motion that the House take note of the paper if they wished. Honourable members opposite know their rights under the Standing Orders of this House and frequently exercise them, and in a debate on an amendment to the motion that the House take note of the statement they could, of course, canvass the whole range of issues relating to the export of merino rams.


Mr Grassby - I rise to order. The Minister has just said that the purpose of the motion that the House take note of the paper is to bring this matter to a resolution. In your remarks, Sir, you said that the matter before the Parliament at the present time was a motion for the adjournment of the debate and that we could not make a decision at this time. I want your guidance on this, Mr Deputy Speaker, because what you say and what the Minister says are two different things.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - Order! There is no substance in the point of order.


Mr SINCLAIR - We are talking about the suspension of Standing Orders in order to allow a debate on a motion relating, I presume, to the relaxation of the export ot merino rams. I have suggested that it would be possible, the honourable member for Henty (Mr Fox) already having given an undertaking that he is prepared to withdraw his motion for the adjournment of the debate, that wc can then have a vole on the motion to take note of the paper. That in fact is the area within which the honourable member for Dawson was able to canvass the full range of issues relating to the export of merino rams. He was able to canvass anything relating to the circumstances of the wool industry, the stud sheep breeders or anyone else affected. He was in no way inhibited in his remarks, and I believe for that reason there is no need to suspend the Standing Orders. Rather, we should get rid of this motion and then take a vote on the original motion that the House take note of the paper.

Question put:

That the motion (Mr Allan Fraser's) be agreed to.







Suggest corrections