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Wednesday, 24 May 1972
Page: 2046

Senator WEBSTER (Victoria) - I say to the Senate that I regret that I rise at about 4 minutes past 1 o'clock to speak on the motion that the Senate adjourn almost 2 hours after the motion was put. However, let me say that during the time I have been here I have not spoken on an average of more than once a year on the adjournment debate. However, I regret that I must rise to speak at this late hour this evening. On the other hand, I would advise the Senate that as is the usual practice I sought the Deputy President's desk at 4.15 this afternoon and placed my name on the list of speakers for the adjournment debate. At that stage I was second on the list to Senator Turnbull. There were no other speakers at that time.

The PRESIDENT - That is not so, Senator, because the list was made up in my office.

Senator WEBSTER - At the time 1 saw the list on the Deputy President's desk there was only one name in pencil written above my own. 1 point out to the Senate that honourable senators perhaps speak on the motion for the adjournment for several reasons. Strange as it may be, they think the matter of public interest they raise, in the context of the day, may catch the eye of the Press or may be of concern to the interests that the senator represents. I agree that an injustice may have been done if a senator was called to speak 2 hours after the motion that the Senate do now adjourn was moved. Earlier in the evening I would have said that something occurred today, but at this moment I must say that it appears to me that yesterday 2 major announcements were made. Firstly the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) made a statement on restrictive trade practices and perhaps of greater impact and of greater importance was his statement on the monopolisation of industry in the Commonwealth. My speech has reference to that statement.

Senator Willesee - I rise on a point of order. 1 draw to your attention, Mr President, a very clear ruling that has been upheld by many Presidents over the years, namely, that the subject matter of an order of the day cannot be discussed on the motion to adjourn the Senate.

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