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Thursday, 27 February 1975
Page: 886

Mr SINCLAIR (New England) -Mr Speaker,I raise a matter of privilege. I draw your attention to page 148 of May's 'Parliamentary Practice' which contains the comment:

Analogous to molestation of Members on account of their behaviour in Parliament are speeches and writings reflecting upon their conduct as Members.

Later, May states:

Reflections upon the character or actions of the Speaker may be punished as breaches of privilege.

I raise this matter now, this being the first time I have had the opportunity to do so today since there has been a Speaker in the Parliament. I have a proof copy of today's Hansard proceedings which shows that the Minister for Labor and Immigration (Mr Clyde Cameron) stated:

Look, I do not give a damn what you say. I-

And then he was interrupted. The Speaker then said:

I ask the Minister for Labor and Immigration to apologise to the Chair.

The circumstances, Mr Speaker, of the intervention by the Minister for Labor and Immigration would seem to fit in its entirety with the interpretation of the statement that I quoted from May's Parliamentary Practice. May refers to the degree to which the status of a Speaker is fundamental in the Australian system, or any Westminster democratic system. May gives illustrations of circumstances within which there shall be said to have been any type of reflection on the Chair and there is no doubt that the statement made by the Minister for Labor and Immigration was intended to be directed personally against the Speaker.

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