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Thursday, 25 May 1939

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - My objection to the motion is based on happenings in this House to-day. Ministers are adopting the habit of making statements on important subjects of public importance without providing opportunities for the House to discuss those subjects. That practice places private members at a disadvantage. By means of statements made by leave of the House the Government is able to place its views before the public, but honorable members generally are denied a similar opportunity. This afternoon, in answer to a question, the Postmaster-General (Mr. Harrison) said that he hoped to make a statement on the subject referred to next Tuesday. If the business paper were allowed to remain as printed, honorable members would be able to express their views on the subject to-day, and the Minister would then know the mind of Parliament on the subject. It would appear that the only course open to me will be to object to any statement being made on Tuesday next, or, indeed, on any other day, by any Minister, unless opportunity be also given for a discussion of such statement. Should the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) persist with his motion, I hope that members of my party will agree not to grant leaveto Ministers to make statements in the future.

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