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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3655

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman must confine his remarks to matters relevant to the motion. He is speaking about a different situation, that is whether there will be an adjournment debate. The motion before the Chair is whether standing orders should be suspended. I cannot allow him to speak about something which is not relevant.

Mr HAYDEN -The situation is that there have been more than adequate opportunities in the course of today for the statement of the Minister for Defence (Mr Killen) to be presented to the Parliament. It was shown to me quite early this evening. There would have been adequate opportunity in the period from early this evening until before 10.30 for the statement to be presented. The fact is- I do not care to go into the reasons why- that the Minister found himself unable to present the statement before this very late hour. There were no reasonable reasons why he was unable to present that statement. It is a short statement I would wish it to be presented to the Parliament. But it should not be presented to the Parliament at the expense of the rights of honourable members of the Parliament who wish to use the adjournment debate to present issues of significance to them individually or, in the case of the honourable member for Reid, to present an important issue about which he has learned and which refers to politics.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman is now being irrelevant.

Mr HAYDEN - I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that the relevance of the point I am raising is that the Minister for Defence could easily have presented his statement. From the look of it, it would take no more than about 5 minutes or 6 minutes.

Mr Killen - One or 2 minutes.

Mr HAYDEN - Well, one or 2 minutes. There would still be some 20-odd minutes left for an adjournment debate. But the Leader of the House is absolutely determined to prevent any adjournment debate taking place at ail.

Mr Sinclair - On the contrary. I have said nothing and I will give nothing -

Mr HAYDEN -The Minister said very clearly that he would give no undertaking. It is a very simple thing.

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