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Thursday, 24 August 1972
Page: 391

Senator McLAREN - My question is directed to you, Mr Acting President. It arises out of a question asked earlier by Senator Turnbull. Would you adhere to the policy, which has been adopted by the President at question time, of starting the call on one side of the chamber one day and on the other side of the chamber the next day so that honourable senators do not have to rise in their places to attract your attention?

The ACTING PRESIDENT No directions have been given to me in regard to the calling of honourable senators, other than for leaders, deputy leaders and the whips of Parties to be given preference. I want to make it quite clear that I have been a temporary chairman of the Senate for many years. I have been the longest serving temporary chairman, in addition to being Acting President at the moment. Until recently, the practice adopted during my time has been that honourable senators are called in the order of their standing. It was only the other day that I learned that the present President has been adopting another system. I might tell Senator McLaren that honourable senators, even from his own Party, have told me that they appreciate the method that I am adopting now. I give the leaders, deputy leaders and whips the call as soon as they rise. Sometimes there is a rush of other honourable senators wanting to receive answers. Some of them probably have to wait until other honourable senators have a turn. However, I try to keep a record of the order in which I notice honourable senators stand. I try to call them in that order. 1 may make mistakes but it is not intentional. I think the question that Senator Turnbull raised may have merit. I shall certainly bring it before the President. So far as 1 am concerned, I will continue to use the system I have adopted.

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