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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1391

Senator GAIR (Queensland) (Leader of the Democratic Labor Party) - I agree; I concur. I have often wondered why we perpetuate the system of permitting senators to read - and read badly - second reading speeches that have already been delivered in another place and have been circulated here in printed form, thus wasting the time of the Senate. There has been no stronger advocate than I for curtailing the business of the Senate and cutting out the irrelevancies and tedious repetitions that one hears here. These have a delaying effect which impedes the proper dispatch of the real business of the Senate, for the sake of a lot of words. 1 think we can improve our procedures with a common understanding. There should be not only an understanding between leaders of parties but also a stricter control from the Chair in regard to irrelevancies and tedious repetitions.

In emphasising these points, I might say that I adopted this attitude in the past when I was Chairman of Committees in a State Parliament, which had more members than this chamber. But there is never any justification for the delay that takes place here and, to a great extent, in another place. If this is eliminated, we shall eliminate a lot of the unduly late sittings of Parliament, thus avoiding the ridicule we mount on our heads when we sit until the early hours of the morning dealing with unnecessary statements instead of dealing with the things that matter; we should not be dealing with the stagemanaged propaganda missions that take place from time to time because they are no good for Parliaments and bring no advantages or benefits to the nation.

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