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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3109

Mr HEWSON - Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I thought I was doing reasonably well in explaining why I wished to have the Standing Orders suspended. I believe that the Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) failed to give me the answer to a question which he said he would provide in the statement that he made. He has not answered the question as to whether he would accompany me or invite-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! That is not the subject of a motion to suspend Standing Orders. The honourable member is debating a matter which he raised at question time. He is out of order.

Mr Wentworth - Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. The honourable member is surely in order. He is showing why it is important that the Standing Orders should be suspended. It is irrelevant as to what may be-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I take the same point with the honourable member for Mackellar as I did with the Minister for Services and Property. I have ruled that the honourable member for McMillan will not debate matters other than the suspension of the Standing Orders. He is raising matters which have to do with the substance of the succeeding motion. I rule them out of order.

Mr Wentworth - Whether or not it has to do with the substance of the motion is irrelevant, provided only that the honourable member is showing cause why the Standing Orders should be suspended. For that purpose, the honourable member is entitled to say why the matters are important and what they are.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The Chair must interpret what is relevant and irrelevant. The House must interpret whether the decision of the Chair is correct. I rule accordingly. I inform the honourable member for McMillan that his statement must be relevant to the motion that he has moved.

Mr HEWSON - I think this time could well have been saved if the Minister had given me an opportunity to make a short statement.

Mr Daly - I raise a point of order. The honourable member for McMillan never requested that I give him leave to make a statement when the arrangements were made. The arrangements were made with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I know that honourable members opposite do not agree with him but he has been appointed by the Leader of the Opposition to represent honourable members opposite in discusions with me. Consequently, no representations were made through him. The honourable member for McMillan is completely disregarding the arrangements.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I cannot recognise any arrangements that have been made. I thank the Minister for Services and Property for the information, but leave was refused when requested.

Mr Corbett - I take a point of order. Contrary to what the Minister for Services and Property said, the honourable member for McMillan did ask for leave to make a statement.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! There is no substance to the point of order. If the honourable member had taken the trouble to listen to what I said, he would know thai the arrangements between the Leader of the House and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition are not a mater for the consideration of the Chair. As far as the Chair is concerned, leave was requested and the request was rejected.

Mir HEWSON- The reason why I moved for the suspension of the Standing Orders was to raise a matter of grave importance. Many side isues have been brought into this by the Minister for Labour. When II asked for leave to make a short statement in reply, leave was refused. I am compelled to move for the suspension of the Standing Orders in order that I might get the opportunity to debate this question. This is a very serious question. The Minister for Labour made certain accusations against the Victorian Government which were quite untrue and without foundation. My concern for the people in the Latrobe Valley area is quite evident by the fact that I volunteered to act as a negotiator in the dispute that has occurred there. I feel that my concern is justified and that my request for the suspension of the Standing Orders so that I may debate this issue should be upheld. I hope that I will get the opportunity to debate this matter. There are many things about which I could speak if the motion to suspend Standing Orders is carried. I think that the Government has failed in its duty to recognise the damage that is caused to Australia

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will be out of order if he discusses those matters which he considers he may discuss if the motion is carried.

Mr HEWSON - May I change to the other foot, Mr Deputy Speaker?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - If the honourable gentleman steps out of line again I will have to ask him to resume his seat.

Mr HEWSON - I repeat that it is a grave matter that we are discussing. I have asked the Minister to accompany me. He has said that he is going to call a conference of all unions, but he has not indicated to me that he will be calling the La Trobe Valley people together. He has not invited me to go with him. I want an answer to all these important matters. I think my reason for asking for the suspension of Standing Orders on this occasion is quite justified. I take it that I can make points to show why I want the Standing Orders suspended. One of the points is that I would offer my services to the Minister for Labour.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honourable gentleman is quite aware that he using a debating device to evade my ruling. I suggest he does not do that.

Mr HEWSON - I am making my point.

Mr Daly - You are taking up enough time in doing so.

Mr HEWSON - That is quite right. I could have made a much shorter and much more effective speech if I had been allowed to make a statement. However, the time at my disposal on this motion for the suspension of Standing Orders is fast drawing to a close, and in the remaining time allotted to me I want to say as much as I can to make the point that I am endeavouring to outline. Some of my submissions have been ruled out of order as being irrelevant, and I have been accused of wasting the time of the House and not explaining anything to the House. As I have said, this dispute has been going on for 5 weeks, and I have not yet seen any intervention by the Minister for Labour. I request him to intervene because of the failure of the leader of the ACTU to negotiate -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! That has nothing to do with the question.

Mr HEWSON - I fail to see how the Government, having refused the Victorian Premier's offer to have a conference on the matter, can hold up its head in respect of this matter. The Minister's refusal to con ciliate with the Premier of Victoria and to talk with the men of the La Trobe Valley involved in this dispute is, I consider, a very good reason why the Standing Orders should be suspended to allow this matter to be discussed.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Is the motion seconded?

Mr Nixon - I second the motion and reserve my right to speak.

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Question resolved in the negative.

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