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Thursday, 24 August 1972
Page: 384

Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Can the Minister representing the Minster for Education and Science state, firstly, the total amount spent by the Commonwealth Government on Aboriginal education in the year ending 30th June 1972; and secondly the amount allocated for this purpose in the current Budget? Thirdly can he represent these figures as per capita figures? Fourthly, can he provide me also with the per capita figure spent on the education of other Australians during the same period?

Senator WRIGHT - I am able to inform the honourable senator that the allocation for Aboriginal education last year was $8.6m. In the present Budget it is $15. lm, an increase of more than 70 per cent. That only takes its place as an item in the very impressive increase in the Commonwealth's direct expenditure on education which rises from S354m a year ago to $426m this year.

Senator Mulvihill - Senator, you are electioneering.

Senator WRIGHT - No. I am giving, facts. In view of the intelligence of Senator Mulvihill, nobody would be more interested than he in objective facts. With regard to the comparative per capita expen diture on education as between Aborigines and others, last year the general per capita-

Senator Georges - Mr Acting President, I rise to a point of order. It is obvious that the answer being given is being given to a question that is not a question without notice. It is obvious that the questioner must have given previous notice of this question to the Minister and I think that the question ought to be placed on notice.

The ACTING PRESIDENT - Order! The point of order is not upheld.

Senator WRIGHT - Mr Acting President,the intervention of the honourable senator shows how ignorant he is of parliamentary procedure. Questions on notice are questions on the notice paper. Questions on notice are not questions as to which conversation has not occurred; they are questions on the notice paper. As I was saying when an attempt was made to suppress the actual facts by the honourable senator who yesterday brought innuendo and malice into the chamber and then got great publicity for it -

Senator Georges - Mr Acting President, at this point I demand a withdrawal of the word 'malice' which implies, or even clearly states, that I was malicious. The word was used yesterday. As I indicated to the Minister, I did not take action yesterday, but its re-use today makes it very offensive and I ask for a withdrawal.

The ACTING PRESIDENT - Order! The point of order is not upheld because in my opinion the Minister is stating correctly what took place.

Senator Georges - As you yourself saying now that I acted in a malicious fashion yesterday?


Minister did not refer to you. I did not take it that the Minister referred to you.

Senator Willesee - Mr Acting President


Senator Willesee - Mr Acting President, every time I have tried to speak on any of these matters you have silenced me. I should be given a chance to speak.

The ACTING PRESIDENT- I was going to give a decision. But go ahead if you want to delay the proceedings.

Senator Willesee - I do not want to delay the proceedings. If there is one person in this place who has not delayed the proceedings it is I, and I think that you, Mr Acting President, will agree with that. The proceedings were delayed very badly yesterday and, thank heavens, to a slighter degree today. Firstly, you say that Senator Wright was not referring to Senator Georges. I think the only man who can answer that is Senator Wright.

Senator Wright - And I indicate to the Chair that I think 1 did refer to Senator Georges.

Senator Willesee - There you are Mr Acting President. Let it proceed if that is the case. But I think that when you say that you know what is in somebody's mind you are exceeding your authority.

Senator Wright - May I say I referred to Senator Georges. In deference to his remarks I will withdraw the references to malice.

The ACTING PRESIDENT- Order! Before your proceed any further, Senator Wright, I want to make it clear that my interpretation of what you were referring to was the incident which took place in the chamber yesterday. Apparently Senator Wright, in speaking, did not refer to that but was referring to Senator Georges, Before you rose, Senator Willesee, I had interpreted from what Senator Wright had said that he did mean Senator Georges and that he was withdrawing the reference. That is why I suggested the matter could have been finalised then without any further delay. There is no reflection on you, Senator Willesee, because I know that you always observe the orders of the Senate very completely. Senator Wright has withdrawn the charge that he made.

Senator WRIGHT - That gives me the silence which I need to state the figures in order to reply to Senator Jessop.

The ACTING PRESIDENT- Proceed with the answer.

Senator Keeffe - Get your stuff over.

Senator WRIGHT - They are still out to suppress the facts; the noise is continuing.

But the fact is that the per capita expenditure on all Australian children last year was near enough to S27 and this year it is $31. In the Aboriginal field last year it was $60; this year it is approximately $100 per capita.

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